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NiRISHfARISH 



ITS SUNSHINE 
AND SHADOWS 




FATHER THOMAS CAWLEY 




Rev. Thomas Cawley. 




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BY 



REV. THOMAS CAWLEY. 



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1911 

Angel Guardian Press, 
Boston, Mass. 



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Copyright 1911. 

BY 

REV. THOMAS CAWLEY. 



All rights reserved. 



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DEDICATION: 

"TO THE MEMORY OF MY BROTHER, 

Dr. Patrick T. Cawley, 

WHO TAUGHT ME GREATER LOVE FOR IRELAND 
AND 

to the friends i have made 
in America, who helped me 
to do something for My Country." 



CONTENTS: 

PAGE 



The Author and Myself .... 1 

The Ladin' Man o' the Parish . . 5 
The Lonely Sentinel of Slieve 

Ban 31 

Another Talk with the Author . 49 

A Great Sparer 53 

Only a Stonebreaker .... 73 

The Tale of a Beggar .... 89 

Cliffs and Sea 109 

The Mystic and the Man . 113 

Another Chat 125 

Purty Caricatures they are in 

Troth 129 

The Old Pew Near the Altar . 153 

What Runs in the Blood . . . 161 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS: 



Facing page: 



"I'm a bad man, so I am," he said 

to himself again and again 18 

She never questioned him about what 

was troubling him 26 

"Dhramin, dhramin' by his lonely 

fireside. " 34 

"He stays there till the Sun has gone 

to rest an' thin he comes down" . . 47 

"We have been duped too often to any 
longer place trust there,' ' said Fr. 
O'Hara. (I wonder was he think- 
ing of Limerick?) 50 

Dick bore it all patiently 65 

"Old Balstone of Balstone Castle was 
a cold, hard-hearted man," said 
Ned 78 

He was acting on the orders of Col. 

Cartley, the agent took care to say 97 

Often had I admired that scene 109 

A rustic was on the road and the Stran- 
ger had not yet seen him 115 

Dr. MacSharry examined his motives 147 

"Misfortune had put the wide, wide 
sea between thimselves an' six o' 
their childreV 155 

*Little Cronan was the idol of his 

father 162 

Beyond near Ceanngarbh a barque 

was ashore 168 



*Erratum under illustration, p. Supra. 



"THE AUTHOR AND MYSELF" 



FATHER Frank O'Hara was, according 
to the common opinion of the parish- 
ioners, " a nice, quite, aisy-goin' man that 
you wouldn't know was in the place at all, 
weren't it for seem' him an odd time." 
His brother priests thought him "silent and 
timorous without a bit of 'go' in him." I 
shared in the general verdict until we were 
a few months curates of neighbouring parish- 
es, and then I learned the true character 
of the man, whom for many years, as boy 
and fellow student I had personally known. 
Whether it was a newly acquired knowledge 
of kindred tastes that drew us close together, 
I cannot say, but however it was, the bar- 
rier of reserve, that kept him apart from 
others, seems to have gradually disappeared 
in my case, and I found in him a trusting 
and trustworthy friend. 

I remember one evening I called over to 
see him. We were seated by the fireside 
after dinner, and our conversation kept drift- 
ing, as conversations will, till it seemed the 
most natural thing in the world for him to 
inquire : 

"Did it ever occur to you what a great 
tendency there is in people to confide dif- 
ficulties and troubles to others, and the strange 
thing is the confidence seems to beget a re- 
lief of some sort?" 



2 



AN IRISH PARISH, 



"I know it, "I returned, ' 'and not alone 
are troubles confided, but personal interests 
as well; I expect it satisfies some natural 
craving.' 9 

"That is quite true; there must be some 
such craving/ ' he said. 

"There are of course exceptions to prove 
the rule/' I continued, "otherwise you must 
be the happiest man in the world, free from 
trouble worry, and care." 

"Why didn't you add "personal interests/' 
he rejoined, "I suppose you thought the ad- 
dition would hurt." 

"Not at all, that was not the reason. It 
would not be true to say you are free of per- 
sonal interests; others may think so but I 
know you." 

"You know me, do you? Well now, let's 
see! You never suspected me of attempting 
to become — to become an author,?" the 
last words were said rather hesitatingly. 

"Author! to become an author!" I could 
not conceal my amazement. "Surely that 
is one of the last things I would suspect you 
of, Fr. Frank. And you really attempted 
authorship? I sincerely hope you did not 
write a book of sermons?" Fr. Frank's 
sermons were rather dry. 

"No!" and he shook his head slowly, "I did 
not aim so high." He failed to see the point 
of my remark. "Better men than I am have 
written enough in that line. My efforts are 
in lighter vein. I can't call them stories as 



ITS SUNSHINE AND SHADOWS. 3 



that implies fiction and a deal of plot, nor can 
they be exactly called sketches, so I expect a 
fitting description would be "Glimpses of 
Irish rural life as I see it, — with a glance 
backwards now and again.'" 

"And may I ask how far you have gone?" 
was my inquiry. 

"Well," he drawled, "I have gone to the 
extent of putting them on paper." 

"Never tried an editor?" 

"No," he returned with a smile, "I never 
could pluck up sufficient courage to face an 
editor. The rejection of even one of my ef- 
forts might stop my writing altogether and 
deprive me of my chief pleasure." 

"I call your lack of courage pride," I said 
severely, "and think you're selfish to keep all 
the pleasure to yourself." 

"To tell the truth, I could never persuade 
myself that I could write anything that 
would interest others," he spoke very mild- 
ly. "My sermons, for example, are interest- 
ing to myself, yet no one else seems to care 
for them. That fact increased my diffidence 
and made me silent. Even now I have had 
a struggle to speak to you on the matter; for 
weeks I've been thinking over it, and you 
may notice this evening how gradually I led 
our conversation from the natural tendency 
in man to confide up to my own little con- 
fidence." 

"A little confidence in yourself, would 
much improve you, Frank" I rejoined, "an 



4 



AN IRISH PARISH, 



duine nach bhfuil meas aige air fein, nil meas 
ag aoine air, says the old Irish proverb/ ' 

"Perhaps if you do me a favour, I may 
acquire that gift," 

"With pleasure if it be in my power." 

"Then here are the keys of my desk," he 
singled one from the bunch, "open the top 
right hand drawer; there you will find a 
bundle of manuscripts tied with white rib- 
bon. Sort them out when you have leisure 
and if you think any worthy of publication, 
try, but for goodness' sake, keep the writer's 
name to yourself. If they are rejected, 
don't tell me. Let me live in my fool's 
paradise, writing away for at least my own 
amusement." 

That is how I came to carry home at 
nightfall a huge collection of closely written 
pages, and, according to his own wish, I 
have concealed the author's identity under 
the fictitious name of Father Francis O'Hara. 

Among the first acquaintances Fr. Frank 
made when he came to Clochfada were Mr. 
Matt Reardon and Mr. Murty Glynn, — one 
of them "the leading man of the parish," 
the necessary result of a bad system, the other 
a rustic philosopher, sensible, straightfor- 
ward, kindly, the type of Irishman to be 
found in plenty among our green fields and 
wild hills, one whose example and teaching 
will help to build a great nation. 



"THE LADIN' MAN O' THE PARISH."* 



GOD save ye, Murty!" 
God save ye kindly, Matt!" 
"'Tis fine weather we're getting 
glory be to God!" 
"'Tis, thanks be to God, an' 'tis wanted 
now for the spring work." 

"'Tis well for him that have spring work 
to do, Murty," said Matt solemnly. 

"An' more shame for thim that could 
have it an' hasn't!' said Murty, with a long- 
continued, emphatic shake of his head. 

"Ah! That's a whack at myself , Murty," 
answered Matt. "If we wor all graspin' 
cratures like some I know, the world 'ud be 
a quare place to live in, so it would." 

"There's a big differ betune a man mindin' 
his own business an' bein' graspin'," said 
Murty quietly. 

"An' there's a differ, too, betune the in- 
terests o' the individual an' the ginerality o' 
the people. The ginerality is to go before 
all other interests, Murty. That's my prin- 
ciple, an' by it I have ever an' always acted, 
an' will act!" 

"An' the divil a much good it's doin' you, 
a nayther, Matt," answered Murty, most 
emphatically. 

"Murty, I didn't expect this from you' — 
I'm a man o' principle, an' I'll stand or fall 
by my principle. — As a Disthrict Councillor, 

*By Kind permission of Ed. "Irish Rosary." 



6 



AN IRISH PARISH, 



Murty, I do my best to keep down the rates 
for the people, an' I'm no man's inimy but 
my own." 

"An' ye have one inimy too many, Matt, 
a mhic o!" said Murty, looking at the other, 
pityingly. 

"Thim's hard words to a man o' my stand- 
in,' Murty Glynn," said Matt. 

"Amn't I only agreein' with yerself, man 
alive? Didn't yerself sav the same a second 
ago?" 

"Tell me this, Murty! Amn't I keepin' 
the rates down? Aren't you, Murty, reapin' 
the benefits o' my labour? There y'are, 
enjoyin' yer comfort; enjoyin' the fruits o' 
my arguin' an' fightin', an' no thanks for 
me, an' me sacrificin' me money an' earnin' 
for the interests o' the commonality — so 
I am?" 

"You are, in troth, Matt!" said Murty, 
with great sarcasm. "You are, in troth, 
sacrificin' yer wife's earnin', God help the 
crature! an' takin' the bite out o' the 
mouths o' your poor childre' ! Listen to 
me, Matt — I'd sooner see the rates trebled 
on myself an' everyone else, an' see you a 
sober, industrious man, than have no rates 
to pay, an' see you as you are, goin' every 
other day into that 'Boordroom,' an' comin' 
home in misfortune an' drink! There are 
honest an' good min there, I know, but there 
are thim in it that are no service to you or 
me! Sneer, if ye like, an' call me tight- 



ITS SUNSHINE AND SHADOWS. 



7 



fisted — as you have done already — but 
I am a happier an' more continted man than 
you, with all your greatness, for I have for- 
gotten the smell an' the taste o' drink, an' 
'twill be well for you, Matt, when you can 
say the same thing.' 9 

1 'Smart chat, faix," snapped out Matt, 
"an 9 a nice, sweet welcome to a neighbour in 
the mornin'! You're a frindly neighbour, to 
be sure, so ye are! But 'tisn't for preachin' 
I come here, Murty!" 

'Tm no frind, I suppose, because I tell the 
truth? Troth, 'twould be well for you, Matt, 
if you heard less blatherin' an' flattery, an' 
more truth. I know well, sure, you'd rather 
I'd say, 'Sure everyone has his faults,' an' 
other consolemints o' the kind. That'ud en- 
courage ye to go down the hill faster, an' that 
I won't do." 

"Hum! It seems to me my business is 
done here this mornin'!" and Matt shrugged 
his shoulders, turned up his nose, and made 
towards the gate. 

"God give you sinse an' a sinse o' shame 
along with it!" said Murty, getting ready to 
go to work; and so they parted. 

******* 

Matt Reardon went down the road, in- 
tending to cross the stile in the "Big Field," 
and go home. The straight and, to his 
mind, bitter words of his neighbour were still 
ringing in his ears, and they cut deeply, for 



8 



AN IRISH PARISH, 



it was seldom he was so spoken to. He won- 
dered with himself/ ' What drove him up to 
talk to the ould shinflint at all?" And then 
the incidents that led up to his visit — 
whose object, by the way, he had not even 
touched upon — passed through his mind. 
So humiliating, nay, even shocking, did the 
whole appear, that he stood on the road, his 
legs stretched wide apart, his hat pulled 
down over his left eye, and with folded arms 
and chin resting on his chest, looked steadily 
at a point four feet ahead of him; and then, 
for at least the sixth time that morning, re- 
viewed the whole situation. 

"Sweet bad luck from your soul, Mrs. 
Hogan, there below!" his thoughts rather 
emphatically began. "Your bad mind an* 
miserly heart is the cause o' my downfall 
this blessed day! I'm here, so I am, a frind 
to the whole countryside: everyone lookin' 
up to me! one axin' me to put a pump here, 
another a bridge there, an' all wantin' me 
to keep down the rates! An' thin, there's 
gintle an' simple beggin' me to put my name 
to a 'red-ticket' for medical attindance, an' 
I'm the man that gives thim! I am, so I 
am! — An' after all this I'm twice insulted 
of a Monday mornin,' almost before my eyes 
are well opened to the light o' day! Well, 
well, well; to be sure!" 

And then he went on to recall the incidents 
of the morning; how he went into Hogan's 
public house and called for his "glass o' the 



ITS SUNSHINE AND SHADOWS. 



9 



besht." Mrs Hogan herself was inside the 
counter, and measured it, and then as she 
was shoving it towards him, asked: 

"I suppose you come in to settle that little 
account with me, Mr. Reardon?" 

"Well, no, thin, ma'am," said Matt, "I 
didn't think there was any great hurry with 
it, ma'am; an' besides, I didn't happen to 
bring any money out with me, — in fact, I 
didn't intind callin' in at all, but just as I 
was passin' by the " 

"Well, sure," said Mrs. Hogan, still hold- 
ing the glass, "you can call this evenin' or 
to-morrow about the account, an' you're 
going to pay for this now, at any rate?" 

"I will call about the account, ma'am," 
said Matt, "as ye spake of it; but, as I was 
sayin', I didn't bring even the price o' the 
drink with me an' I comin' out. I was only 
passin' the door and I dropped in to " 

"Oh! very well, Mr. Reardon," she replied 
stiffly. "I'm afraid I can't afford to wait 
longer or add any more items to your account." 
And she took back the glass from the counter. 

Poor Matt was dumfounded. Had it 
come to this — "a district Councillor, the 
ladin' politician o' the parish," refused for 
fourpence worth of liquor? He could not 
speak, but contended himself with looking 
vaguely around the shop, and then, hanging 
his head, walked out. He felt thankful, in- 
deed, for one thing; that there were none of 
his neighbours present to witness his humili- 
ation. 



10 



AN IRISH PARISH, 



This incident it was that led him to con- 
sider his position. He had no ready money, 
not as much as would pay for his morning 
glass. Worse still, he had no ready means 
of obtaining ready money. His lands were 
unstocked ; his yard was empty of pig or cow 
or anything saleable, except his old nag and 
a few fowls. To sell the horse would be to 
deprive himself of the means of attending the 
"Boardroom" and "Monster Demonstrations/ ' 
so that was out of the question ; and the sale 
of the fowl would at most bring in a few 
shillings, and, besides, would be beneath his 
dignity as the "ladin' man o' the Parish." 
Having turned the matter over and over in 
his mind, he at last hit on one plan "for rais- 
ing the wind," — to set his land and tide 
over present difficulties with the proceeds. 
With this object in view he had gone to 
Murty Glynn, with what result we have al- 
ready seen. 

"Now, in the name of all that's sinsible, 
what am I to do?" he asked himself, as he 
stood on the road. "Divil a one I know able 
to take that land but Murty, an' words 
passed betune us before I could even mention 
it. 'Twould suit him, an' he'd take it, for 
his own is overstocked, and he's lookin' for 
a place to put thim, the ways he could till 
more. Well, well to be sure! an' what am 
I to do now?" He paused awhile. "I'd 
better put my principles in my coatpocket," 
he said, at last, "an' go back to Murty." 



ITS SUNSHINE AND SHADOWS. 11 



He made three or four attempts to return 
but every time his resolution failed him, and 
pride "got the upper hand." At last he 
made a bolder effort and walked back. 
******* 

"God bless the work, Murty!" 

"An" you likewise ! n said Murty, as he 
looked up from his work. To his great sur- 
prise he beheld Matt Reardon leaning his 
elbows on the garden wall, the paleness of 
his drawn face making his nose appear rud- 
dier than usual, and in his watery eyes there 
was a most pitiable look. 

Murty had guessed at his last visit that 
something out of the ordinary was in the 
air, and had in his own mind resolved on a 
plan to save this man from himself. How- 
ever severely he might seem to act, he did 
so for a good purpose. 

"I come back," was Matt's bare state- 
ment. 

"By dad, it seems so," said Murty. 

"Muiseadh Murty/' said Matt, "don't be 
too hard on me." 

"There's no one harder on you than your- 
self," said Murty, and he continued his work. 

"Murty!" came from over the wall. 

"What is it, Matt?" asked the other. 

"I'm in trouble, Murty!" 

"I'm sorry to hear it, but not surprised," 
said Murty. 

"Is that all?" Matt asked. 



12 



AN IRISH PARISH, 



"It depinds," said Murty. 
There was a pause. 
"Murty!" 
"Well?" 

"Fm — I'm — I'm broke, so I am!" said 
Matt, with an effort. 
"Ah!" 

"I have a nice bit o' land, Murty." 

"You have, in troth, and the divil a much 
use you're makin' of it. a nayther, Matt," 
was Murty's answer. 

Another pause, and then: 

"You have a nice lot o' stock, Murty, 
God bless thim!" 

"They're purty fair, thank God! an' Fm 
afeard I'll have to sell some o' thim before 
the right time," said Murty. 

"That 'ud be a pity, so it would." 

"Well, I can't spoon-feed thim, an' I 
have no grass for thim." And Murty dug 
savagely with the spade. Again there was 
silence between them. 

"Murty!" 

"Well?" 

"You have stock an' I have land. 
'Twould be a pity if you had to sell the stock. 
Troth an' it would so. 19 

"Arrah! an' is that what you wor drivin' 
at all the time," siad Murty, straightening 
himself and looking at the other . He had 
guessed as much from the beginning, but as 
he wanted to humble Matt, he had refused 
to help him to make known what false pride 
made difficult to disclose. 



ITS SUNSHINE AND SHADOWS. 13 



'That's it now for you," and Matt felt 
relieved that even that little was done. 

"Well now, Matt," said Murty, "come 
'round by the little gate beyond, an' sit 
down here under the wall, an' we'll try to 
make a bargain of it." 

Matt did as he was told, and when he had 
seated himself. Murty asked :- 

"Did ye, on your word of honour, take 
any drink to-day, Matt?" 

"Not as much as one tint, Murty." 

"An' didn't I see you comin' out o' Hogan's 
a while ago?" 

"You could, an' maybe you did." replied 
Matt. 

"An' did you go in an' out o' Hogan's 
without takin' drink?" asked Murty in sur- 
prise. 

"That I did" said Matt. 
"Thin wonders never will cease!" said 
Murty. 

"An' I didn't take drink, Murty, for I 
wouldn't get it." 

"I'm sorry you're so low, Matt, but 'tis 
all your own fault. An' I tell you plainly, 
that instead o' settin' your land, an' havin' 
your barn, an' stables, an' cow-house empty, 
instead o' the roof o' your own house lettin' 
the smoke out an' the rain in, an' instead o' 
tiradin' about the country speechifyin' an' 
throwin' away your last pinny on thim that 
don't care a match for you. 'twould be fitter 
for you, Matt, to be mindin' your business, 



14 



AN IRISH PARISH, 



an' thin things would not be as they are." 

"Murty, you're hurtin' my feelin's, an* 
tisn't many I'd let do that, so it isn't!" 

"Look here, Matt, we understand each 
other. You know there's no one would be 
willin' to take your land but me, as there's 
no one but has enough for what stock they 
have. 'Twould suit me well, an' I'll keep 
it at any fair price you name, if we can agree 
on the conditions o' sale." 

"I thank you, Murty, an' if the conditions 
aren't impossible, they'll be agreed to an' 
kept." 

"Come on to the bargain so," said Murty. 
"What are you askin'?" 

"Well, there's thirty acres, an' six acres o' 
the "callows" an' the two acres behind the 
house. That's thirty-eight acres, not count- 
in' the garden. " 

"I know every perch of it, an' now say 
your lowest price. I'll show you I'm not 
the graspin' fellow you think me. I'll keep 
it at your own price — with conditions, 
though." 

"'Tis the best bit o' land in the six parishes, 
Murty, an' as I have it cheap, I let you have 
it cheap. What would you say to 18s. an 
acre till next March?" 

"I said I'd keep it at your price — with 
conditions, an' I'll not break my word. We 
musn't complete the sale now, for the con- 
ditions will only come by degrees. The first 
is, that till I meet you next Thursday evenin', 



ITS SUNSHINE AND SHADOWS. 15 



not one drop o' drink will pass your lips. 
That's only three days an' a half, an' I'll 
name the rest an' complete the bargain, if 
you do my biddin'." 

"Well, Murty," said Mat hesitatingly, "I'd 
like one little dropeen before I'd promise 
that, for I'm not feelin' at all well this morn- 
in'." 

"Not as much as you'd put in a midge's 
front tooth willyou get from me!" said Murty. 

"Well, now, I'm feelin' bad, an' 'twould do 
me good," pleaded Matt. 

"If you as much as taste a drop, Matt, 
don't talk any more about lettin' the land to 
me. The bargain '11 be off!" 

"Och! Dia go deo linn! but that's hard 
enough. Howsomever," he added resigned- 
ly, "I suppose there's no help for it, an' I 
promise not to take any. Well, I'll call up 
so on -" 

"Hould on," interrupted Murty, "your- 
self '11 want the garden an' 'two-acre' field, 
so keep thim, an' whatever seed you want 
you can get from me, an' we'll settle it again 
whin I'm payin' you the rint." 

"I'm very thankful to you, Murty, so I 
am," said Matt humbly. 

"As I haven't much 'help' myself, maybe 
yourself an' the lads could sow a few things 
for me in thim fields you were preparing this 
time twelve months. No one need know 
but 'tis for yourself you're doin' it, an' I'll 
pay ye for the labour." 



16 



AN IRISH PARISH, 



"Hah!" said Matt with a show of anger. 
"Whin a man's down a foot is bet on him! 
Do you mane to say you'd make spailpini 
o' me an' my childre' because I 'm down a bit 
in the world at present, Murty?" 

"Look here, my good man," rejoinedMurty, 
"if that's how you're lookin' at things, re- 
mimber the bargain isn't made yet. Who'll 
know but ourselves that it isn't your own 
seed you're sowin'? I'm befrindin' you, so 
sind pride to the divil an' put a bit o' manli- 
ness into your heart. Afraid o' what the 
neighbours 'ud say an' think! Go now an' 
God speed you! Don't take a sup o' drink 
till you come back to me a-Thursday evenin'. 
Do your work like a Christian an' you'll be 
better able to talk whin you come." 

After some more arguing: — 

"By dad, but I will!" said Matt with de- 
termination. "Good-bye now an' thank you 
Murty. You'll see I'll keep my word." 

"I'm trustin' in you fully, Matt," said 
Murty, and he resumed his work as the other 
went out at the little gate. 

Matt Reardon went home in a rather 
curious state of mind. He was a bit mixed 
after that conversation with Murty Glynn, 
but whether it improved or made him any 
more contented he very much doubted. 

Anyway he had pledged himself to a thing, 
and that he would not draw back from, and 



ITS SHADOWS AND SUNSHINE. 



17 



Murty trusted him too. He went into his 
own yard, and taking a spade (rusty for want 
of work) that stood against the wall of the 
barn, he proceeded to the garden, where he 
set about preparing a place for cabbage seed. 
He had not entered the house, nor told his 
wife his intentions — in truth his chief aim 
now was to keep himself occupied with 
something so as to keep the idea of drinking 
in the background. 

Mrs. Reardon, busy with household cares, 
such as they were, had not noticed his coming 
so when she glanced through the back win- 
dow and beheld her husband at work for the 
first time in many months, she blessed her- 
self and prayed that this might not be a 
passing fit of industry, but a lasting reform. 

At 1 'dinner- time' ' Matt came in and pulled 
his chair to the table. He said nothing dur- 
ing the meal, and when it was finished put 
a "coal in his pipe" and returned to his 
work in the garden. 

When the children came from school, the 
eldest boy asked the usual question: 

"Where is he gone to-day, mother ?" (He 
never said "father' ' of late). 

For reply his mother brought him to the 
window that he might see his father sober 
and hard-working for at least one day. The 
tears stood in the eyes of both, and the 
smaller children were gathered to where the 
little altar of the Blessed Virgin stood, and 
there they knelt and joined in simple prayer 
for their poor father. 



18 



AN IRISH PARISH, 



The children had done whatever foddering 
there was, so, when Matt came in from work 
he had to content himself with 1 'knocking 
about/' as it were, to "look after things," 
and finally settled down to read an old news- 
paper by the fireside. Even this did not 
keep away the ever-recurring temptation, 
and after a little while he was merely pre- 
tending to read, for he felt a keen desire for 
"a drop o' drink." He was kept fully oc- 
cupied in keeping this thought in restraint. 
At one moment he would have formed the 
intention of borrowing the necessary cash 
and have "one decent drink/ ■ when suddenly 
he remembered that his word was pledged 
to one who trusted him fully. 

"I'm a bad man, so I am," he said to him- 
self again and again, "if I can't keep from it 
to-morrow an' after, an' a bit o' Thursday." 

That would finish the matter for the time 
beting, but soon the craving would come on 
as strong as ever. 

"Muiseadh! the divil himself must be in 
the drink, an' may the Lord strengthen me, 
for I'm wake!" he would say, and then the 
tempter would suggest, "Take one little sup, 
sure no one will know it, an' you needn't go 
far with it. One little sup will do no harm 
to anyone." But his word was pledged to 
not take as much "as would go in a midge's 
tooth," "an' I won't, with the help o' God — 
till Thursday at laste!" poor Matt would add 
to himself. So it went on — temptation, 



"I'M A BAD MAN SO I AM," HE SAID TO HIMSELF AGAIN 
AND AGAIN. 



ITS SUNSHINE AND SHADOWS. 



19 



resistance, craving, temptation, resistance, 
till at last he tired of it all and, throwing the 
paper aside, he said: 

"'Tis time for us all to say the Rosary, 
Mary." 

So they went and prayed. 

On Tuesday, while Matt was at dinner, 
a parcel came from town addressed to Mrs. 
Reardon. "It had been ordered and paid 
for," the carrier said. 

"Was it you sint for the tea an' sugar an' 
things, Matt?" she asked. 

Matt looked at them, blushed a little, and 
replied, "Go on now, Mary, isn't it all equal 
whether I did or no?" 

She was satisfied with the ambiguous re- 
ply; but he knew better, and realised that 
Murty was showing himself a sincerely prac- 
tical friend. 

"He doesn't mean offence," he added in 
his own mind, "an' I know that. I'll make 
him keep the price out o' the rint, anyway." 

Thursday came and Matt rambled up to 
Murty's. There were a few inside "at visit" 
so he sat among them awhile and smoked 
and talked with them. 

"Matt," said Murty after a time, "I have 
a cow outside that I'm thinkin' o' bringin' to 
the fair. Maybe, as you're a good judge, 
you'd come out an' tell me what I'll be ex- 
pectin' for her." 

Don't be depindin' too much on my judg- 
ment, but such as it is you're welcome to it," 
and Matt stood up. 



20 



AN IRISH PARISH, 



As soon as they were outside, Murty asked: 
"Well, you kept from it, Matt?" 
"An' a hard job it was, Murty, I can tell 
you." 

"Troth, I'm thinkin' it was no joke. Come 
over till we look at the cow." 

When they were returning from the cow- 
shed Murty began again: 

"Well, Matt, before we complate that 
bargain about the land I must ax you to resign 
your position on the 'Boord.'" 

"What? Is it resign the councillorship, 
Murty?" asked Matt. 

"That's it exactly," said Murty. 

"'Tis out o' the question, Murty; 'tis un- 
natural! What about the interests o' the 
community?" 

"Interests be hanged," retorted Murty, 
"It must be done or the bargain is off." 

"An' who'd take my place? Who's fit to 
represint the district, Murty?" 

"Let thim get who they like; but faix, 
with all your big opinion o' yourself, you 
must rise out of it. " 

It took some time to persuade Matt that 
the country could rub along without him. 
(Though every citizen should serve his coun- 
try, not everyone need give public service) - 
Finally however, he was persuaded, and 
with Murty, he went to the parlour to pen 
his "regrets that circumstances compelled 
him to resign his membership of their honour- 
ed Board," etc., etc., and when the two had 



ITS SUNSHINE AND SHADOWS. 21 



read it over about seven times it was closed, 
stamped, and addressed to the clerk of the 
Catharmore Union. Then Murty took upon 
himself the responsibility of posting the im- 
portant document. 

"That's done, an' well done," said Murty, 
as he put the letter in his pocket; "though 
I'm afeard Matt, we'll have another job 
with them; for as sure as eggs are eggs, an' 
that's mighty sure, thim comrades o' yours'll 
pass a grand 'russulution' regrettin' your 
notification, and beseechin' you to reconsider 
your decision for the 'honour an' glory of 
Ireland an' in the interest o' the Irish race 
at home an' abroad;' an' they'll ax you to 
return again to thim as the representative o' 
Clochfada; but for your life don't heed thim. 
If you feel wake whin that letter comes, an' 
come it will, ramble up here to me, an' I'll 
see they get an' answer." 

"Well, now that 'tis written " said Matt, 
sadly, "I'm feelin' soart o' sorry that I'm 
resignin', but I won't draw back as I've put 
my name to it." 

"Och, thin don't be a bit uneasy," said 
Murty. "Trust me for one year, an' if you 
don't think well o' me, thin you can go back 
to thim'' 

"Notwithstandin' my feelin's, I'm satis- 
fied that you intend what's good for me, an' 
— an' — an' I'll stick to your advice if I'm 
able at all, with the help o' God." 



22 



AN IRISH PARISH, 



jWhen they were parting at the gate, Matt 
was about to mention the parcel that came 
from town, but Murty interrupted him. 

"Don't mind that for the present. But, 
listen, this will be in our agreement, that if 
durin' the year you taste a drop o' drink I'll 
throw the land there to you, an' you may do 
your choice thing with it." And that was how 
the agreement was drawn up. 

During the next couple of weeks Matt 
was living a new life — a kind of stay-at- 
home life. As he was not yet well grounded 
in sobriety he did not trust himself much 
abroad. He did not often go down even as 
far as Hogan's. He of course, did not enjoy 
this sort of life very much yet, for the con- 
tinous restraint was irksome. However, he 
managed to get along somehow. The fer- 
vent prayers of wives and children do a 
great deal, and so Matt Reardon kept sober. 
% Murty was well informed as to the post- 
man's visits to Reardon's, and was especially 
attentive after "boord-day." At last, on a 
Tuesday morning, he discovered that Matt 
had received a letter. He had no doubt but 
that it was the expected resolution, and was 
hourly expecting the recipient up for advice. 
Matt did not come, however. He must 
not have felt "wake" about replying was 
Murty's thought. But to make sure he stroll- 
ed down to inquire. 



ITS SUNSHINE AND SHADOWS. 23 



"God save all here!" he said, as he entered 
Reardon's kitchen. 

"An' you likewise !" Mrs. Reardon replied. 
"Ah, thin' you're heartily welcome, Murty, 
an' is it yourself that's in it? Sit down to 
the fire. Shove aside, Johneen" (to the second 
eldest), "and make room!' 

She knew Murty's part in the reform of 
her husband, and was grateful. 

"I won't be delayin', ma'am, thank you," 
said Murty. Then, in a half -whisper, "Where 
is himself?" 

"He wint over to the parlour a while ago 
to write a letter. Sure, I'll call him out if 
you want to see him." 

"I'll go in myself, ma'am, if you please," 
said Murty, and he tip- toed to the door, 
opened it gently, and went in. Matt's back 
was towards him, and so intent was he on 
the letter that he did not hear the other enter. 

Murty looked over Matt's shoulder, not 
from curiosity or any dishonourable motive, 
but to see if his surmise was correct. The 
"Resolution" of the Council was spread out 
before Matt, who was carefully writing out 
the answer: 

"Gentlemen, in reply to your generous 
resolution, I beg to state that I have recon- 
sidered my position, and intend to retain my 
seat on your honourable Council " 

"Well, well, well," said Murty, aloud, "but 
this is terrible!" 



24 



AN IRISH PARISH, 



Matt nearly fell off the chair. Then when 
he saw who had spoken, his first impulse was 
to brazen the thing out, and tell Murty he 
was able to mind himself and his own busi- 
ness, but he recalled their agreement about 
the land, and how his word was pledged, 
and thought better of it. 

"By dad! Murty," he said, with a forced 
laugh, " they sint me a thunderin' fine reso- 
lution, an' I couldn't refuse." 

"Whethen! You can refuse, an' you will, 
too," said Murty with conviction. 

"Now, Murty, before you commit yourself 
to that, read it. They tell me the interests 
o' the country requires me." 

"Now, Matt, we all know there are fine, 
honest min on that board, and if there wasn't 
'twould be a poor case. But, by my soukins! 
there are thim in it that you must keep away 
from! Stand by my word, as you said you 
would, for one year, an' if you find I'm leadin* 
you wrong, thin don't heed me any more." 

After a time it was settled that another 
letter should be written to the Council, not 
so strong as Murty would like not yet so com- 
plimentary as Matt wished; it was a sort 
of compromise, and each had to be satisfied. 
Anyway, it suited its purpose — namely, 
severing Matt Reardon's connection with 
Catharmore District Council, — forthe present 
at least. 

It was on this occasion that the agreement 
was signed between them. Thus Murty's 
tenancy depended on Matt's sobriety. 



ITS SUNSHINE AND SHADOWS. 25 



Neighbours, having little else to talk a- 
bout, spoke of the friendship between these two 
men, and the great change that had taken 
place in the "ladin' man o' the parish. ". The 
"ladin' man" himself didn't seem to take 
any notice of their remarks. He now inter- 
fered very little, if at all, in public affairs, 
and was faithful to the promises he had under- 
taken. If a few mocked the "sober man" in 
Matt, what mattered it, since he knew, as 
Murty told him, that all men of sense (and 
perhaps the mockers too) really thought 
more highly of him now than ever before. 
So Matt was faithful. 

The months passed. Christmas and the 
New Year were, toMatt's mind, "the regu- 
lation fence." 

"'Twill be mighty hard to get over thim 
safe," was his frequent thought. "But please 
God I won't tumble!" 

Possibly the consciousness of his weakness 
was his safeguard, for he took every precau- 
tion to keep the danger at arm's length. 
Even while yet it was early November, he 
was warning his wife not to even suggest to 
him the idea o' goin' to the shop to buy "the 
Christmas." And he would add, "let me not 
see as much as the cork of a bottle around 
the place. If I do, I'll, I'll — I'll do some- 
thing!" 

He got over both Christmas and New Year 
safely and soberly. It was the happiest 
Christmas time he had spent for many a year, 



26 



AN IRISH PARISH, 



and he was prouder of himself for it than if 
he had earned ten thousand pounds in an 
hour. As soon as 1 'the idle times' ' had gone by, 
he set about preparations for the Spring, 
and he felt in such a working humour that, 
as himself said: "He was within the blow of 
a wattle o' March before he knew where he 
was." 

During all this time, if any business brought 
him from home, he always told "the Mrs." 
where he was going, and when to expect him 
back. He invariably returned at the time 
named, and he had kept his pledge faithfully. 
Now, however, as March approached and 
Murty 's tenancy was expiring, his wife 
noticed a change coming over him. He began 
to show signs of uneasiness; going from one 
job to another, and often standing up from 
his work to think deeply on something or 
other. She never questioned him about what 
was troubling him, though she feared that 
now, as things were going so well with them, 
and as he no longer needed Murty to keep 
his land, he was about to return to his 
old companionship and drink. It was there- 
fore with awful foreboding, that, one fine 
morning in the end of February, Mrs. Rear- 
don discovered, when she went to call her 
husband to breakfast, that he had gone, she 
knew not whither. It was market day in 
Catharmore, and she feared the worst. 
For advice and help she appealed to 
Murty. 



l-H 
— 

D 
O 

H 

tfi 

t 
i 

H 

O 
CQ 

— 

— 

o 



C/5 

w 
> 

a 



ITS SUNSHINE AND SHADOWS. 27 

"Well, ma'am," said Murty, when he had 
heard her story, 11 there's no harm done yet 
for all we know, an' we won't know till we 
see him." 

In his heart he believed that Matt had 
fallen and was "stotered, mad drunk that 
minnit in some hole or corner." He promised 
however, to seek the delinquent and bring 
him back drunk or sober, so off he started 
on the side car. 

In town he inquired at all Matt's old 
haunts, but could get no trace of him. 
"They didn't see a sight o' the dacint man 
this many a day, and more's the pity." So 
often was this idea repeated in the replies 
he got that Murty began to get hopeful, till 
the thought struck him that possibly Matt, 
to throw them off the scent, had gone to 
some other town, and was there foolishly 
spending his hard year's earnings. He was 
about to give up the search in Catharmore 
when he happened across a neighbour who 
had seen the object of his search hastening 
down Abbey Street "airly enough in the 
day. 

Thither went Murty with all speed. As 
he was passing the church something sug- 
gested to him to go in and say a prayer. 
Going in at one side of the porch, to his 
surprise he beheld Matt coming out at the 
other, and the latter, not suspecting that 
anyone was listening, was speaking the 
thoughts that filled his mind: 



28 



AN IRISH PARISH, 



"That's done, so it is, an' thank God for 
it! 'Twas worth comin' all the way for an' 
waitin' all the mornin' here. Och! But 
Father Peter is the grand man. He made 
a great job o' me. May the Lord reward 
him! 'Stand by God,' says he, 'an' God'll 
stand by you/ An' I will, with the help o' 
His holy grace.' ' 

He sprinkled himself copiously with holy 
water, and, going out the door, continued: 

"The grace o' God be with me always. 
Amin. An' I must hurry home now or 
herself 11 be uneasy; an' as for Murty"— 
and he laughed softly to himself, and was 
gone. Murty, hidden by the half-open door, 
had heard without being seen. 

"God forgi' me for thinkin' bad o' you, 
Matt," he said when his friend went out; 
and then he too, entered the church. 

Matt Reardon was footing it home as fast 
as he could when Murty overtook him. 

"Hello! Matt, you're goin' home airly." 

"An' I can say the same to you, Murty," 
said Matt. "You hadn't much business in 
town?" 

"No thin,, I hadn't," said Murty. "But 
sit up an' we'll be gettin' along faster. Ay, 
faix, that's better. Troth, thin, Matt, to 
tell you the truth, such business as I had 
could do without me" — and he told about his 
suspicions and the search he had made — " 
"an' sure," he concluded, "I axed God to 



ITS SUNSHINE AND SHADOWS. 29 



pardon me for judgin' you, Matt, an' I'm 
sure yourself won't think much the worse o' 
me?" 

"Arrah, stop, man," said Matt. "I knew 
well ye'd suspect me, an' that's natural. 
But, ye'see, I was thinkin' this long time how 
much better I am without drink than with it, 
so I said to meself I'd make a soart o' big 
confession o' my life an' start fresh. I 
couldn't get myself to talk o' that to anyone, 
so I sloped away, unknownt, this mornin\ 
Faix, Murty, but I was thinkin' 'twould be 
a terrible hard job, but sure, Father Peter 
took me like you'd take a child, an' 'twas 
a pleasure to hear him settlin' everything 
for me, an' puttin' thim aside for ever. 'Now 
my dear son,' says he, 'y° u 'll begin once more 
on a clean sheet o' paper. Every day o' 
your life'll be a line o' your handwriting an' 
let us see,' says he, 'that whin you look back 
in a year's time there'll be neither blot not 
stain on it, an' that your Ts' '11 be dotted and 
your 'tV crossed.' An,' Murty, I'm as happy 
as the day is long — troth, I am sol" 

"Go on our that!" said Murty to the horse. 
He could say no more, and they were silent 
till they reached home. 



THE LONELY SENTINEL OF SLIEVE 
BAN". 



1HAD been caught in the rain. The 
nearest house was Murty Glynn's, 
and I hastened to it. 

"Good evening Father/' said Murty as 
I entered, "and you're heartily welcome! 
That's a very sudden change in the weather, 
glory be to God!" 

"Good evening, Murty," I returned, "and 
thank you. That change is so sudden that 
I'm caught without overcoat or umbrella." 

"Well, you have shelter anyhow, Father, 
foi as long as ever you like. I'm glad, 
since it come at all, that it come on you here 
and drove you into my home?" 

"You certainly pay me a nice compliment. 
— Ah! Good evening, Mrs. Glynn, and how are 
you?" Having seen my approach she had 
retired 'to do herself up' and now reentered 
the kitchen, a smile of true kindliness light- 
ing up her pleasant face. 

"You're very welcome, indeed. Father!" 
she said as, with a most graceful courtesy, 
she took my hand. "I'm glad you didn't 
get much o' the rain. Won't you take a 
seat?" She wiped the chair with her apron 
and pushed it towards me. "They didn't 
come home from the meadow yet," she went 
on, alluding to the other members of the 
family; "they're all lindin' a hand to-day as 

By kind permission of ed . "Irish Packet." 



32 



AN IRISH PARISH, 



they expected to finish with the hay, but 
in troth, I'm afraid the wet overtook thim 
before they were finished. Sure Murty 
only come in a whileen ago to do the 'fod- 
derin.' But what am I doin?' You'll take a cup 
o' tay along with us, Father, an' I'll have the 

kittle singin' in a minute. Run, Murty, 

an' bring in a can o' fresh wather." 

Murty threw an overcoat loosely over his 
shoulders and took the can. 

"Tisn't hard to get it this evenin,'" he 
said as he went out the door. 

My mild request that she should not 
trouble herself about me did not affect Mrs. 
Glynn. She seemed not to hear and cer- 
tainly did not heed, for she trotted about the 
house, now putting great sods of turf on the 
fire, now spreading the snow white table 
cloth and arranging the tea things with care 
and taste. 

"Tis a terrible down pour," said Murty 
laying the can near the hearth, "'tis the same 
as if you were spillin' it out of a sieve." 

As he was hanging his dripping hat and 
coat on a peg behind the door, a vivid flash 
of lightening dazzled us and a moment or 
two later a terrific peal of thunder rolled across 
the heavens. We blessed ourselves accord- 
ing to the good, old custom. 

"May the Good Lord save us an' every 
one from all harm!" said Mrs. Glynn, "But 
that was terrible entirely." 



ITS SUNSHINE AND SHADOWS. 33 



"It was so, 99 said Murty, "an' what harm 
but that unfortunate crature is above on the 
hill there in the height of it all. Maybe the 
thunder 'ud dhrive him home, though I'm 
thinkin' it won't for it's worse an' worse he's 
gettin' every day." 

"God give him sinse, an' isn't itthequare 
notion he got into his head, Father?" said 
Mrs. Glynn. 

"Of whom are you speaking, Mrs. Glynn?" 
I inquired, 11 who would be mad enough to 
remain under that rain without cause.?" 

"Sure ould Domnall Brady spinds every 
evenin' on that hill, Father," Murty ans- 
wered for her. "But I forgot you're not long 
enough here yet to know Domnall. Come 
over here to the door till I show him to you. — 
That's Slieve Ban, the hill over there for- 
ninst us. — Now look at him an' he standin' 
on top o' the coillean o' stones shadin' his 
eyes with his hand tryin' to get a glimpse o' 
the ocean. He'll get no glimpse of it now 
for 'tis a good few miles an' can only be seen 
on a clear day. But sure what does poor 
Donnall care? He'll stay there now till the 
sun sets takin' an odd course round to warm 
himself, and thin leanin' on his ould pike 
handle watchin' for what he never' 11 see. 
Towards night fall he'll go home an' sit 
by himself polishin' the rusty ould pike that 
belonged to his grandfather, an' he won't 
have candle nor lamp to light him, but only 
the flames o' the fire jumpin' up the chimney 



34 



AN IRISH PARISH, 



an' makin' the shadows dance on the bare 
walls around him. Thin whin he gets tired 
o' that, he'll rest his elbows on his knees an' 
put his two hands together an' go dhramin,' 
away for hours. But come back from the 
door, Father, an' if you care to hear about 
Domnall, I'll tell you his story while you're 
takin the tay an' watin' for the rain to stop." 

I expressed my great willingless and delight 
to listen, and then he told me the story. 

I give it, as well as I remember it, in the 
quaint style of Murty himself: 

"God be with ould times !" he began, 
"They wor hard times sure enough on some 
but they could be worse. Glory be to God 
that the hradest days are past and gone! — 
Domnall is an ould man now, Father, but 
there was a time in it an' he was as hardy a 
boy as you'd find in a day's walk. That 
was in the sixties "when his poor mother — 
God rest her soul ! lived with him in the house 
he's livin' in now by himself over in Dun- 
namblath. Sure this side o' the parish wor 
as continted an' happy as the day is long, for 
ould Kevin O'Neill never pressed thim for 
the rint in bad years an' gave his tenants 
every fair play, an' signs in him, he had a 
funeral that ud reach from here to Tubber na 
Miasg. — But faix it wasn't so with the 
Heavney tinants! They had to pay up to 
the day, an' it was by great scrapin' entirely 
they ever managed to put the rint to- 
gether. 



dhramin; dhramin, by his lonesome fireside 



ITS SUNSHINE AND SHADOWS. 35 

Parkbeag was jist outside the demesne wall 
and didn't the ould divil take it into his head 
that it should be inside it. He said the land 
was too good for thim that had it, so he began 
transplants thim all over to the "Carrai- 
geens" where there wasn't as much as would 
feed a snipe with any decency, let alone a 
village o' hungry Christians. 

That was bad, but it could be worse, an' 
worse it soon was. In the new places they 
got the tinants couldn't pay a copper o' 
rint at all to Heavney, an' he started evictin' 
thim out of a face. They wor in despair, 
the creatures, but what could they do? 
They might as well be tryin' to stop the tide 
with a hay-fork as tryin' to move ould Heav- 
ney. SHe'd do what he liked with his own, an' 
he did. 

One day it come to the eviction o' Tim 
Loftus. Poor Tim was put out of a nice 
tidy little farm an' sint up among the rocks. 
His ould heart was nearly crushed with the 
change and now he was broken entirely to 
see himself an' his only daughter without 
house or home of their own an' depindin' on 
others for a roof to cover thim. Mary 
Loftus was a fine handsome girl, she was so; 
an' it was small wonder that Domnall Brady 
had set his heart on her an' intended to make 
her his wife. When they wor put out o' 
their nice farm and sent to the "carraigeens" 
he seemed to think more than ever of Mary, 
but they wor in no hurry about the marriage, 



36 



AN IRISH PARISH, 



for ould Tim was sort o' proud an' was afraid 
that if he had no fortune to give with Mary, 
people 'ud say it was out o' charity Domnall 
married her. So day by day it was put off, 
an' things wor gettin' darker an' darker, till 
at last, as I told you, Tim an' the daughter 
found themselves homeless on the roadside. 

Domnall was lookin' on at the eviction an' 
there was such sorrow in his heart to see his 
Mary in trouble that in place o' goin' to 
help her, he got someway stupefied, an' 
stood there like a statue without as much as 
a stir out o' him. And whin f rinds o' the 
Loftuses brought the father an' daughter 
away w r ith thim, Donnall still stood there 
watchin' the fire eatin' away the little cabin 
that a while before was her home. Whin the 
crowd was movin' off, he saw the land agent 
over from him, an' at once he got life an' 
movement. He rushed over at him an' 
only for a few o' the neighbours caught him 
in time tisn't known what might happen. 
Though they could stop himself they couldn't 
stop his tongue an' he said things about the 
agent an' landlord that a wise man should 
not say. Sure there wore many there that 
took notice o' his words an' they wor no 
frinds o J the poor man, an' faix, wild talk 
could do a lot o* harm in thim days. 

A few weeks later George Heavney was 
comm' home from the hunt an' jist as he was 
passin' the turn above his own ' 'grand-gate' ' 
two bullets come whizzin' out to him from 



ITS SUNSHINE AND SHADOWS. 



37 



behind the wall. They didn't hit him — , 
I'm thinkin' 'tis few o' thim boys ever in- 
tinded to kill anyone — an' George come 
home safe, but he got a fright that didn't 
serve him nor thim that it was meant to 
serve. 

"I'll have satisfaction out o' someone," 
says he, an' off he sent for police an' put 
them scourin' the country for arms an' such. 
He suspected Domnall Brady, though he 
wasn't a tinant o' his at all, but he remim- 
bered what he said to the agent the day Tim 
Loftus was evicted. Sure the boy was as 
innocent o' firin' the shots as a weeney ba- 
been but he had to prove that yet. The 
police went up to search his house an' arrest 
himself on suspicion, When they went in, 
Domnall was restin' himself after the day, 
and his mother was by the fireside sittin' on 
an ould box. Och! sure, 'tis Domnall that 
was fond o' that mother! He wouldn't be 
out at night from the house for the whole 
world, but would stay within to keep her' 
company. She was ould the crature an' 
deaf an' stupid, an' he'd be afraid anything 
would happen her while he'd be away, ex- 
cept he'd get Bridgid Carrol or someone 
to stay with her. When he saw the police 
comin' in, he knew r there was trouble in store 
for him, but, in troth, 'twasn't of himself 
he was thinking, but of his mother. She'd 
miss him sorely, if he had to go with the 
peelers. There was no fear, but the neigh- 



38 



AN IRISH PARISH, 



bours would take good care of her, but sure, 
they would not take the cold sorrow out of 
her ould heart, 

In kem the police, told their business an' 
read their warrant. 

"Well," said Domnall, "I suppose there's 
no help for it, but 'tis a hard case. How 
will I be able to explain it to that crature by 
the fireside? She doesn't understand what's 
goin' on around her." 

"You can try to drive it into her head 
while we're searchin' the house," said the 
sergeant roughly. 

Domnall gave a look at him but said no- 
thing. He kept sittin' on the edge o' the 
table with his chin on his hands an' he lookin' 
mournfully at the ould woman. She didn't 
heed what was happenin' at all; I doubt if 
she knew there wor strangers in the house, 
or that there was any danger hangin' over 
her only son. 

One policeman stood beside him while the 
others searched high and low, within an' 
without, but they found nothing of any harm. 
They took down the delf o' the dresser in 
the kitchen an' turned the bit o' furniture 
o' the rooms upside down but nayther gun 
nor powder nor shot was to be got. 

"Nothing to be seen here," says a big 
burly fellow, "he'stoo knowin' for us, an' has 
no incriminatin circumstance, or otherwise, 
about the place." 



ITS SUNSHINE AND SHADOWS. 



39 



"Hould hard a minute !" says the sergeant, 
1 1 Did you search that box the ould woman is 
sittin' on? — Search that Flanagan! These 
lads are damn knowin!" 

"Aisy done, sir," says Flanagan, with a 
laugh, "Aisy done," An' he gave the end o' 
the box a kick; maybe 'twas by way of a 
joke an' maybe it wasn't I don't know, but 
anyway the boords scattered an' poor Cait 
Brady was sprawlin' on the floore. That 
was more than Domnall could stand an' he 
would be no man, if he didn't do what he did, 
Father. He stood up o' one leap, an' he 
struck that policeman betune the two eyes, 
an' the cowardly divil fell down like a stump 
of a stick. Before the poor boy could lift 
his mother, the sergeant was a-top o' him, 
an' thin the other constables jumped on him; 
Domnall played "nine-pins" with thim all 
for a while, an' struck thim, an' lashed thim, 
an' kicked thim around the house. But it 
was an unequal fight, an' they overcame, 
him in the ind, an' marched him out. He 
looked back as they dragged him from the 
doore an' he saw his poor mother tryin' to 
rise from the ground, an' as he looked she 
fell agin, an' began to cry an' rub her poor 
ould wrist for someone stood on it in the 
tussle. There was a tightenin' at his heart, 
an' the blood rushed to his head an' all a 
son's love an' veneration for a kind an' good 
mother came on him at once. He struggled 
to go back to her but they held him tight an' 



40 



AN IRISH PARISH, 



hurried him off ; an' he wint down the boith- 
rin with a load o' crushin' sorrow on him, 
an' the bitter tears blindin' him that didn't 
lave him able to raise his head nor spake a 
word. 

Well, Father, to make a long story short 
he was brought before the magistrates, and 
remanded to the Assizes without bail. At 
the Assizes, for want of evidence, he was ac- 
quitted, o' the charge o' shootin' but, sure, 
the poor fellow got six months "for assaultin' 
the police in the discharge o' their duty!" 

Thim wor the six long, hard, weary months 
on him, for as 'twas seldom any of us had 
business in town where the jail was, so Domnall 
only heard from home a couple o' times in 
the beginnin'. Thim wor the six long weary 
months on him to be sure! If we had the 
good news to tell him always, we'd spare no 
trouble to let him have it, but sure there wor 
the dark clouds o' misfortune coram' on, an' 
no one had the heart to be the bearer of ill 
tidin's. 

"Misfortunes never come alone" as the 
ould sayin' is, an' 'tis time enough Domnall 
would know what the second one was. He 
was miserable enough as he was without 
addin' to his troubles. 

The months passed by somehow; an' one 
day as I was walkin' down the road, who 
should be comin' across the fields from the 
direction of his own house, but Domnall? 
Well, Father, I was a great frind o' his, an' 



ITS SUNSHINE AND SHADOWS, 41 



still an' all, if I could convainyiently do it, 
I'd avoid meetin' him that time at laste; 
but he saw me an' called me over to him an 1 
came towards me. 

I wint to meet him too, an' welcomed him 
home as best I could. He was very tired an' 
sad lookin', an' I wondered did he know it 
already. He stared at me for a whileen as 
though expectin' me to spake agin, an' 
two or three times his own lips moved, but 
not a word came. At last he took courage an' 
axed me about her. 

'Tell me, Murty" says he, stoppin' be- 
tween every two words, "Tell me, Murty, 
what's the meanin' of it? I wint over to the 
house whin I came an' I found the door 
locked before me. I broke the lock an' 
wint in an' she wasn't in it, an' the hearth 
was cold an' the place was untidy an' neglec- 
ted an' silent. Oh! Murty, for God's sake! 
what's the meanin' of it at all, at all?" 

"Domnall, a mhiurnin!" says I, "'Twas bad 
enough you to be in jail without makin' it 
harder on you. If I thought it better for 
you, I'd have gone in head straight an' told 
you. Sure, Domnall, I left you in ignorance 
for your own sake. God's holy Will be done. 

"Ah! thin" says poor Domnall in a broken 
hearted sort of way, "She's gone!" An' not 
a word more out of him. Nayther praise nor 
blame had he for me. 

"She's gone!" says I "an' may the Good 
Lord comfort her son, an' give her rest an' 
happiness!" 



42 



AN IRISH PARISH, 



He turned from me with the big tears 
runnin' down his manly face, a sorrowful 
look in his eyes, an' he walked away. 'Twas 
the great love for his poor mother that was 
on him an' she was dead an' gone from him. 
Whin he was a bit away from me he stood an' 
come back agin to where myself was standin' 
watchin' him. 

"Murty," says he " I forgot in my sorrow 
to thank you for doin' what you thought was 
best. But I'd rather have known it before 
I came home/' 

"An" you would know it too, Domnall," 
says I, "if I knew the day you wor coming 
for I intended to go in to the town to meet 
you, an' break it to you," 

"Sure 'tis the kindness I'd expect from you" 
says he, "but it can't be helped now. I 
have something else to ax you, Murty; would 
you tell Mary that I'm not feelin' able to see 
her, an' spake to her yet awhile, an' tell her 
to be patient with me till the first o' this 
storm is over. I'll go up to see her myself 
whin I'm well enough to do it, an' sure she 
knows how I must feel an' will respect my 
wishes. It isn't want o' frindship that's 
keepin' me an' she'll understand that too." 

"That I'll do an' welcome, Domnall," 
says I," Maybe the great sorrow will soon 
wear off o' you an' you'll be cheerful enough 
in a couple o' weeks. She's better off where 
she's gone, Domnall, so don't be too down- 
hearted." 



ITS SUNSHINE AND SHADOWS, 43 



He shook his head sadly, an' wint away agin 
from me, an' thin he crossed the stile an' over 
with him by Ned Brogan's callows towards 
the graveyard where his mother rested, — 
I heard a lot o' this afterwards, sir, — an' he 
knelt on her grave, an' said his rosary for her. 
'Twas meself that found him there, an' 
brought him with me from the place. He 
wouldn't let me go beyond the chapel with 
him; an' so I came home, an' he wint 
off to his own cold, comfortless house, 
an' started at once to tidy it, an' put 
things into some shape; sure we'd have it 
ready an' all before him but we thought he'd 
stay with one o' the neighbours for a few days 
but he would have his own w r ay. 'Til sleep 
in my own little house." says he, — an' so 
he did. 

Next day he started to work on his little 
holdin' o' land; — we had the crops sown for 
him while he was in jail, — an' thin he kept 
by himself all day an' didn't come near any 
of us. From that day forward his first act 
o' the mornin' ud be to go over to Killenda 
an' visit his mother's grave. He began to 
live a silent lonely life, an' no matter if we 
told him forty times a day to cheer up, he'd 
pay us no heed. He was uneasy like an' 
the tratement he got in jail along with the 
death o' his mother must have upset his mind 
some way for whin any of his ould companions 
wint to him, he's lave them, an' run off by 
himself at the first chance, he got. 



44 



AN IRISH PARISH, 



Well, we all got out o' troublin him in the 
ind an' let him have his own way till such 
time, as we thought he'd be himself again. 
But, sure, a mhuirnin o 1 ! he was gettin' 
stranger an' stranger every day. Mary 
Loftus, the one girl in the whole world he 
ever cared for, was livin' with her uncle, 
Martin Cunain, beyant in Tubber na miasg 
an' she met Domnall every evenin' whin she'd 
be comin' from milkin' the cows; but sure, 
an' ever he would only look at her an* pass 
on. That same itself he wouldn't do later 
on; he'd go his own way an' wouldn't look 
at the side o' the road she'd be on. You'd 
think by his action she was a stranger he 
never before laid eyes on. An' even whin 
ould Tim Loftus died — God rest his sowl! — 
Domnall didn't go next or nigh the "corpse* 
house" nor the funeral but to work with him, 
mindin' no one, carin' for no one, slobberin' 
away on that bit o' land he has an' payin' 
the daily visit to his mother's grave. 

He was goin' on in this kind of a way for 
a fair while, an' breakin' poor Mary Loftus's 
heart, for the crature thought 'tis vexed 
with herself he was, an' she didn't know for 
what; but myself saw well enough that he 
was quare in the head an' may be if she was 
out o' sight for a time 'twould do either o' 
thim no harm. I tould her that as kindly as 
I could, an' she was cryin' an' cryin' till I 
thought the eyes ud melt out o' her head. 
But she took my advice as well by what I 



ITS SUNSHINE AND SHADOWS. 45 



put to her, as that she didn't like somehow to 
be depindin' too long on the uncle. So off 
with the poor girleen to America to earn her 
livin' an' 'twas a hard thing that she had to 
go out to the wide, wide world all alone, an' 
knowin' nothin' o' it but what she learned 
at the market in Gork or Athenry, God help 
us, Father, an' sure that wasn't much! She 
never profitted on the side beyant; she lost 
her health with hard work, an' thin with 
strugglin' an' strivin not to give in she lost 
it worse an' worse. At last she could stand 
it no longer an' she came home to us weary, 
an' tired, an' spint an' broken in health an' 
body. 

Domnall was the same as she left him, a 
stranger to everyone an' everyone a stranger 
to him. But Alary usedn't to meet him 
this turn an' she comin' from the milkin', 
for she wasn't able to do anything. She was 
laid up as soon as she come home, an' in a 
fortnight from landin' she was cold, an' 
dead. 

We wor all above at the wake, whin who 
w T alks in to us but Domnall? Without a 
word to anyone, he wint to the doore o' the 
room where she was "laid out,' an' kneelin' 
down accordin' to custom, said a prayer. 
In with him thin an' down he sits among 
the people there. He didn't spake a word 
to anyone for a long, long time, but kept 
starin' and starin' at the corpse. In the 
ind of an hur or so he turns to Matt Reardon 
that was sittin' next him an' says: 



46 



AN IRISH PARISH, 



"Tis very like Mary Loftus that's in it!" 
"Sure, Domnall," says Matt," it is poor 
Mary!" 

Domnall didn't say another word but 
kept on lookin' at her till morning now an' 
agin wrinklin' his forehead as if tryin' to 
remimber something. By degrees the peo- 
ple left an' wint home, an' whin the darkness 
was risin' there wor very few there. Dom- 
nall still remained, however, an' just as day 
was breakin' from the East, an' the light 
was comin' in, he got up, wint over to the 
bedside, an' looked at her face, an' thin, he 
gintly stroked her brow T n hair, an' kissed 
her white forehead, with the tears in his 
eyes. 

Well an' good we buried her. Domnall 
was at the funeral, but he stood away by 
himself an' didn't say as much as "yis" "ay" 
or "no" to man woman or child. But I'm 
thinkin', he remimbered his old love for poor 
Mary an' missed her too, for he got worse, 
an' shortly after this he'd talk to one of us 
an odd time about the strange visions he 
used to have in the winter evenin's, whin 
he'd be sittin' by the turf-fire an' dancin' 
flames ud make the shadows on the wall leap 
around him. The visions wor strange things. 
He used to talk o' "golden ships comin' from 
where the sun goes down behind the sea; 
golden ships bearin' treasures an' stores to 
Eire an' bringin' happiness an' contentmint 
to us all." An' thin he began to go up 



"he stays there till the sun has gone to rest an' 
thin he comes down." 



ITS SUNSHINE AND SHADOWS. 47 

on Croc Riabhach to watch for thim comin\ 
an' now he brings that ould pike that was 
his grandfather's an' he is the lonely sentinel 
o' that hill lookin' for golden ships that 
never'll come. He is, as himself says, the 
first that will greet him on the shore an' he 
is to call us all to welcome thim. Hail, 
rain or snow, he's up there in the evenin's, 
an' he stays there till the sun is gone to rest 
an' thin he comes down, disappointed for 
that day but hopin' as strong as ever in the 
morrow. He's strange, Father, very strange, 
an' more's the pity! Domnall Brady is ould 
now, but there was a time in it, an' he was 
the finest an' best-humoured man in the 
parish, or in the next parish to it. He was 
the best hurler I ever seen to hit a puck on 
a ball!" 

The rain had long since ceased, and the 
road, cut through the lime-stone hills was 
again w r hite and smooth. The dust was 
not yet quite dry and the breeze that still blew 
from the sea could not whirl it about. I 
walked across the little bridge and turned in 
under the trees that arched the road. At 
the entrance to the wood a man came over 
the w r all a little distance in front of me. 
His face as far as I could make out in the 
fading twilight was thin and pale, and from 
his wet clinging clothes the water dropped to 
the roadway; his white hair, came down over 
his brows and his long beard fell in wet 
tongues to his breast. He leant for a moment 



48 



AN IRISH PARISH, 



on his pike-handle and watched me closely. 

As I passed him I heard him mutter in 
Irish: "They will come from where the sun 
goes down into the sea; and I'll watch and 
wait for them fori know they will come!" 

He walked on into the shadows behind 
me and I saw him no more. He had defen- 
ded his poor mother, and this was what the 
law made of him for it! 



"ANOTHER TALK WITH THE AUTHOR 



A LOT of new movement and life 
came into Fr. O'Hara since he 
had given me the bundle of "Glimpses." 
He paid three visits to my place for every 
once I went to Clochfada, and as he usually 
walked the four miles, it might have been 
the exercise that made him of late so bright 
and cheerful. 

"Don't you think you are a bit too severe 
on some people in this?" I asked him on one 
of these occasions, and I indicated the manu- 
scripts that rested on my knees. 

"No one can be too severe on a man who 
puts politics, conceit and paltry pander- 
ing for fulsome flattery before the precious 
duties of a father!" he replied with more 
energy than I thought him capable of. 

"Well that may be true: I said, "but still 
we have not many of Fardy's Hilliard's 
class around here." 

"One would be too many." he remarked. 
"In Ireland, however it is, we are too much 
awed of popular acclaim. Our people create 
a great man, and then follow him blindly 
till one whom they think a greater does a 
turn or two on the stage. We worship 
"Greatness" and allow ourselves to be talked 
and orated out of reason; and, leaving all 
our thinking to others forget that the inaction 
begot of want of reflection is even a greater 



50 



AN IRISH PARISH, 



evil than any of those that are continually 
kept before us." 

"I wonder what political creed you hold?" 
I murmured. 

"The good points of any political scheme 
for my country's good, receive my support," 
was his reply. "Thus the Parliamentary 
Party receives it, except in so far as it puts 
trust in English Statesmen. We have been 
too often duped to any longer place trust 
there. I follow Sinn Fein in its support 
of Irish Manufacture, but cry halt at its 
castle building. Both are working for Ire- 
land; each has good points, and, like every- 
thing human, each has faults. Now do you 
know my political creed?" 

"I must have time to consider," I laugh- 
ingly replied. "But how about the Gaelic 
League? How far do you go with it?" 

"The whole way," he returned briskly, 
"the whole way with all my heart. I did 
not mention it, because I understood you to 
inquire about my political creed, and, of 
course, the Gaelic League is not political, — 
it does not concern itself with the nation's 
body, at least not directly, but with the soul 
and spirit of nationhood. When the Irish 
language goes," and I felt as if his heart and 
not his lips spoke. "When the Irish language 
goes, and may God forbid such a calamity, 
the spirit will have vanished and Ireland as 
a nation will be dead!!" 



ITS SUNSHINE AND SHADOWS. 



51 



I watched him for a long time, as deep in 
thought he rested his elbow on the table and 
gazed through the window towards where 
Slieve Ban clasped to her bosom the ivied 
ruins of an ancient Irish University. 

"If," he at last said, "the crime of murder 
calls to Heaven for vengeance, don't you think 
an awful account will be exacted of those who 
murder a nation, or, (for it is the same thing), 
who, having the power, will not act at once 
in concert to prevent a nation's decay?' ' 

"And who are they?" I wanted to make 
sure of his meaning. 

"Ah! Well," he sighed, "we know!" 

Fr. O'Hara shifted his position and let 
his eyes again rest on the Manuscript. 

"But to return to your original point." 
he said, "in regard to my severity on some 
people, you singled out Fardy Hilliard. 
Now what about the "mimbers" and the 
publican? I want to make myself clear with 
you. I do not mean these to be types, but 
such as I describe happen to exist and I 
know them. If there is only one or two such 
members of parliament, or one or two such 
publicans, there is one or two too many. I 
realize that there are worthy, self sacrificing 
Members, worthy Co. Councillors, worthy 
District Councillors and publicans and so on, 
but necessarily in every large community, 
unworthy persons crawl or leap into influen- 
tial positions. These and these only do I 
attempt to criticise." 

That ended the matter. 



"A GREAT SPAKER."* 



WETHEN! Good evenin', ma'am, an' 
how is all your care?" 
"Good evenin' kindly, Mr. Reardon, an' 
they're all well, thanks be to God." 

"I'm glad o' that, so I am, ma'am; an' is 
himself at home?" 

"He is, thin. He wint in awhile ago to 
'ready' himself for the wake." 

"I was thinkin' he'd be goin', and so I 
rambled up, so I did, the ways we would go 
and come together, as I want to be home 
airly, an' I'm sure Murty won't delay." 

"Troth an' 'tis thruefor you, Matt, I will 
not delay," said Murty himself, fixing the 
collar of his coat as he came through the 
door. "I would scarcely go at all, but out 
o' respect for that fine boy of a son he has — 
an' a fine boy he is too, God bless him, an' 
keep him so! Nothing could make me have 
any respect for the father, though, no mat- 
ther what change come over him." 

"Well, Murty, the son'll never be the great 
spaker his father was, Lord ha' mercy on 
him! an' he was a great spaker — no mistake.' 

"Great spaker! great spaker!! Fine talk is 
wind — nothing more, Matt. Great spaker! 
Go bhfoiridh Dia orrainn!" 
There can be no idea given of the sarcasm 
with which Murty spoke. 




♦Published by kind permission of Ed. "Irish Rosary.' 



54 



AN IRISH PARISH, 



"Troth, Murty, you're very hard on him, 
an' on everyone not o' your own way o' 
thinkin'," said Matt, sorrowfully. 

"Bad luck from it for a story, Matt, that's 
not thrue. Maybe he was a great spaker, 
but he was a bad father in the 'invarse rashio,' 
as Gleasawn, the schoolmaster, used to say, 
an' I can never have any respect for a bad 
father, Matt, when he's a man that broke 
out late in life as Fardy did, an' was brought 
up as he was." 

"Somehow or other," said Matt scratch- 
ing his head, "I can only remimber him as a 
fine talker, an' he was that, so he was, by all 
accounts, an' to me own knowledge. 'Twas 
given up to him that there was no bate o' 
him on the platform." 

"An' he may thank that for bein' where he 
is, Matt," was Murty 's unfeeling remark. " 

"You're terrible hard on him altogether, 
Murty. Do you remimber the first great 
speech he made at Bandara, tin years ago?" 

"Ah, thin! I do, well," said Murty, "an' 
thin and now I say there was no 'call' for that 
meetin'. The tinants wor gettin' a fair set- 
tlemint, and thim that took it wor right. 
Father O'Dwyer thought the same thing, 
and told them so, and signs on he wasn't 
there. Nayther was I, Matt; but you wor in 
the chair, an' the divil a great things that's 
to boast of, a-nayther!" 

Matt was silent, and they walked on. 

S$S ' ^ Sffe S). ijs if* 5j» 



ITS SUNSHINE AND SHADOWS. 55 



About three miles beyond Clochfada were 
the " cross-roads" of Bandara, and at the 
" cross-roads" was Tim Brady's public house. 
Tim was a "Ladin' man" in his own place, 
but he managed always to look after No. 1. 
He minded his own business first and best, 
and then ' 'concerned himself in the inther- 
esthts o' the community at large." He was 
considered a most enlightened man as well, 
for he got the daily paper, and he knew 
what they were doing in all the foreign parts. 
And for the good of the locality, he sold a 
couple of the Dublin weeklies, as well as the 
Bally or an Watchman, a great national organ 
filled with fine speeches, "demonstrations," 
district councils and petty sessions, and with 
crossed pikes and sunbursts, and harps and 
such like, scattered all over its eight ill- 
printed pages. On Saturdays the papers 
were brought from Ballyoran to Tim's by 
the "bread -van," the owner of which was only 
too glad to be able to oblige his customers 
without extra expense to himself; and on 
Saturday evenings the local lights gathered 
in to get the news and discuss the great ques- 
tions of the hour. There would be a special 
gathering if it was expected Mr. Hilliard's 
latest oration was on, for Fardy was a neigh- 
bour, and was known through the whole 
countryside as "a greatspakeran'no misthake." 
That was on Saturday night, however. On 
ordinary week nights only the regular cus- 
tomers turned in, and these came as a matter 



56 



AN IRISH PARISH, 



of business, for they imagined nothing could 
get along, even in a fair way, unless they ex- 
amined it from every view-point in Tim 
Brady's public-house, and that to do this 
properly, matters should be discussed every 
night to the accompaniment of ' 'pints" or 
"half-wans," according to tastes. The only 
variety in the programme was that in the 
fine summer evenings the actors in this sense- 
less drama sat on the empty porter barrels 
at the gable, going in now and again for a 
"wet;" but invariably, they w r ent home with 
thickened tongues and unsteady steps — it 
was their idea of work for Ireland! and so 
they spent the time. 

Fardy Hilliard, during his drinking bouts 
(which, by the way, lasted ten or eleven 
months of the year) was there every night 
without fail. He was a better-class farmer, 
fairly well educated, intelligent enough, but, 
unfortunately for himself, he had got the 
reputation of being" a great spaker — no mis- 
take." 

This was how it happened. Ten years 
before our story opens a dispute about the 
payment of arrears of rent arose on the Hearn- 
Baxter property. Some of the tenants, 
knowing the landlord to be an exception to 
his class, were for meeting him and talking 
the matter over fairly with him. Others, 
prompted from outside — or perhaps, from 
inside Tim Brady's "pub" — hung on to the 
cry no rack-rints, and would agree to nothing 



ITS SUNSHINE AND SHADOWS. 57 



but "fight it out. M Thus a division was caused 
and the result was that some refused to 
pay any rent at all, while others paid "two 
years' rint an* the hangin' gale, an' got a 
clear resate for all arares;" these latter were 
then and there declared "renaguers to their 
counthry, an' vipers in the land, to be spur- 
ned and despised by every thried an' thrue 
man." 

A "Monsther Demonstration 11 was held in 
Bandara. Five M. P.'s were invited, and 
two promised to attend. The parish priest 
considering that there was not sufficient 
cause for the meeting, was not present, and 
our old friend, Matt Reardon, not then the 
steady man we lately saw him, was, "in 
the unavoidable absince o' our respected 
pasthor," moved to the chair amidst tremen- 
dous applause. Mr. Haverly, M. P., had 
arrived the previous evening, but unfortu- 
nately, the other member missed a train com- 
nection and was not to be expected till the 
afternoon. 

The meeting had been postponed for over 
an hour for him, and at last, in spite of Tim 
Brady's opposition, it was decided to proceed. 
Tim, who was looking to No. 1, for the "dan- 
cint man" saw that the longer the delay the 
more knuckles would be rattling on his coun- 
ter and the more coppers would "herself ' 
be raking into the till. 

Mr. Matt Reardon was moved to the 
"cheah" by Mr. Haverly, M. P., seconded 



58 



AN IRISH PARISH, 



by Mr. James Horley, P.L.G. Matt was 
beaming. 

'Tut into the chair, so I am, by a rale M. 
P.!" were his thoughts, "But what on airth 
am I to do now that Fm in it?" And he 
drew his hand across his heated brow. He 
had lots of time to make up his mind, as the 
thunders of applause lasted for several min- 
utes. 

At length they began to get calm. A few 
here and there caused a little disturbance by 
calling others to order. 

"Whist! let ye there, an' give the dacint 
man a chance !" 

"Bravo! Matt, an' ye'r heartily welkim!" 

"Hould yer nise there; don't ye hear him 
thryin' to spake?" 

"Go an, Mr. Reardon, yer' as good as the 
besht o' thim!" 

"Ordher there, ordher, ordher!" 

"Three cheers for Ireland, while I !" 

But that poor fellow never completed the 
sentence. Somebody's elbow came in con- 
tact with his mouth, and his "nationality" 
ended in a weird moan. 

Matt waited no longer, but began: 

"Fellow-Counthrymin from Bandara, 
Clochfada, Bailenahown an' surroundin' dis- 
thricts assimbled in yer thousands (Hear, 
hear, bedad!) here to-day, Fm here, so I 
am " 

A voice — "Y'are sol" 

Matt — "So I am, a man o' the people 



ITS SUNSHINE AND SHADOWS. 59 



(cheers) for me father was a paysant, an* me 
mother was a paysant, an' bedad! but I'm 
a paysant meself!" (Prolonged cheers). 

A voice — " Long life to ye there above !" 
(Cheers). 

Matt— "Didn't I suffer in that Bashtile 
in Kilmainham for me convictions? I did 
so, an' I'm ready to undergo the same again, 
so I am! (Cheers). I'm thankful to ye, me 
frinds and counthrymin, for axin, me to pre- 
side at this vast assimbly. (Yer' welkim). 

Thus Matt went on, and became even more 
eloquent as he warmed into his work. In 
conclusion he hoped "the day was not far 
distant whin the green flag would be fly in' 
from every home in Ireland an' whin they'd 
have their parliamint in College Green, and 
Ireland ud be a free counthry for a free peo- 
ple." 

So far Mr. Harry Weltham, M. P., the ex- 
pected orator, had not come. The meeting 
would not be complete without him. Every- 
one felt that. He was the man that would 
address four-fifths of his remarks to the 
"peelers", "an* wasn't a bit afeard o' them 
a-nayther," as Tim Brady often said. Mr. 
Weltham, too, when he had made some vague 
wild, heroic reference to the "rising of the 
moon," or the like, would turn to the police 
note- taker and invite him "to take down 
that and report it to his masters, the minions 
of tyranny in the dismal offices of Dublin 
Castle." And the open-mouthed audience 



60 



AN IRISH PARISH, 



would open their mouths still wider, and in 
admiration of such bravery, give such a cheer 
as would terrify the principals as well as "the 
agents of tyranny' 9 had they but heard it. 

No doubt about it the meeting would not 
be a success without Mr. Harry Weltham, 
M. P.! Everyone hoped he would drive up 
at any moment. Tim Brady, with an eye 
to No. 1, besought them to adjourn for lun- 
cheon, and that as soon as Mr. Weltham 
came, the meeting could be continued. Matt 
saw the point of the remark well enough, but 
with all his faults, he was, as indeed were the 
vast majority of his colleagues, thoroughly 
upright and sincere according to his lights, 
and so was resolved to go on with the meeting 
however the gap was to be filled. Some- 
body suggested that they should get 1 'another 
local spaker to give them a speech an' kill 
the time till the mimber kern." 

Here is where Fardy Hilliard comes in. 
He had the name of being a "smart chap, 
who had a power o' big rocks o' words," 
and though he had never yet spoken from 
a public platform, it was whispered round 
with sundry head-shakes, nods and nudges, 
that he was the only man they could depend 
on. 

Fardy, after much demurring, at last con- 
sented "to say a few words," as himself said, 
and as soon as Mr. Haverly — who had very 
obligingly continued to talk whilst all this 
was being arranged — got a hint from the 



ITS SUNSHINE AND SHADOWS. 61 



chairman: "Ye can whisht now, sir, any 
minit y'like," the aforesaid Mr. Haverly got 
into a muddle. He lost the thread of his 
discourse and could not finish with any show 
of sense. He was truly miserable when a 
happy thought struck him. He gave one 
glorious screech for liberty and Ireland, and 
that was enough ! A voice cried : 

"Musha! glory on ye there !" and there was 
a roar of applause that shook the very porter 
barrels that supported the platform, and 
Mr. Haverly bowed and stood aside to listen 
to the long-continued plaudits of a delighted 
multitude and receive the congratulations of 
his friends. 

When the applause at length died away, 
Matt Reardon announced: 

"Fellow-counthrymin — (Hear, hear) — 
it is a pleasure to me, so it is, to introduce me 
frind, Mr. Fardy Hilliard, a dacint man, and 
so was his father before him 

A voice — "Divil a dacinter in Ireland 
ground !" 

Matt — "So he was, an' his son'll spake to 
ye now, an' there's no man'll give ye advice 
so fearlessly an' so bravely as me frind, Mr. 
Fardy Hilliard !" 

A voice — Kind father for him to be good. 
(Cheers). 

Another voice — Ye're heartily welkim, 
sir." 

Fardy Hilliard came forw r ard, and when 
the cheers of greeting died away, began his 



62 



AN IRISH PARISH, 



first public speech. He was a fine type of 
better class Irish farmer, tall and well pro- 
portioned, with a fair open face, altogether 
of an appearance that would impress one. 

Why was he there? Murty Glynn would 
not go to this meeting because he could not 
see justice in the proceeding, he asserted the 
Parish Priest was absent for the same reason, 
and yet they were both excellent Irishmen. 
It must have been that Fardy did not con- 
sider matters deeply, he had seen so many 
glaring injustices on the part of the landlord 
class, that, given the opportunity however 
it came, he was ready and anxious to show 
that his sympathy was always with the tenant. 
He had long since ceased to weigh the justice 
of the cause. If landlord and tenant had a 
difference then the landlord was wrong and 
the tenant right, and Fardy was for the tenant. 
Most probably Fardy' s presence is thus ex- 
plained. If he and many of his sort had 
learned to think, and were not carried away 
by impulse and the enthusiasm of the mo- 
ment, our country's history for the past 
couple of decades might be very different 
from what it is. 

Fardy's maiden speech was a great success 
unfortunately for Fardy. He spoke for near- 
ly a full hour, first very sensibly and to the 
point, but, towards the middle, he somehow 
got switched on to the old, well known, highly 
polished track of sunbursts resplendent — 
shamrocked hills and plains of Ireland — the 



ITS SUNSHINE AND SHADOWS. 63 



culmination and solidification of the cause 
of freedom, and fraternal mutuality, and so 
on and on, till, finally, he threatened to smash 
the doors of prisons, gaols and dungeons — 
to sweep Dublin Castle and its nefarious sys- 
tem into the sea; and then Fardy Hilliard 
gave a yell that knocked the helmet off the 
head and the colour out of the face of the 
boyish district-inspector who was there in 
command of "the force/ ' he warned all and 
sundry that the inevitable "no far distant 
date" will see peelers, soldiers, and Govern- 
ment agents "as scarce in Ireland as clover 
in Pollnameadog, where never clover grew." 

There were cheers and cheers and cheers. 
Fardy had been a great success. Every- 
body said so. 

"The finest piece of talk I ever heard", 
whispered the enraptured Matt, "an* I'm 
leshenin' to spakers for twinty-five years, 
so I am. Mr. Whatever-his-name-is sint a 
wire that he couldn't get a horse in Bally- 
oran to bring him other (hither.) They're 
all at the meetin' here, I suppose, but he may 
stay where he is now for all I care, for you 
finished the day as good as his best. We 
can wind up the proceedin' now, so we can, 
without disappointment to man or mortial." 

And so they did. 

An adjournment to Tim Brady's for as 
many as could get in at a time: then a few 
hours' moping about the roads till late in the 
evening and contingent after contigent started 



64 



AN IRISH PARISH, 



for home. Many, alas, far from, being sober, 
and all more or less disorderly, straggled, 
argued, shouted till every village round Ban- 
dara received back the patriots, and women 
and children listened in awe to the story of 
"the great day's work done for Ireland (?)" 

Fardy's downward course had begun. He 
was elated by his success. From all sides he 
heard that he was "a great spaker an' no 
mishtake, ,, and he believed it. Time after 
time he stood drinks "all round", and as he 
took "a drop" himself every time he stood 
drinks, he went home to his young family in 
such a state as he had never been in before. 
Poor Fardy! 

Henceforward neither "monsther demon- 
startion" nor meeting of any sort was com- 
plete without him. His name was among the 
"spakers" on the posters, his speech would be 
mentioned in the Dublin dailies — as much as 
some M. P.'s get — and a full report and a 
leaderette given in the Bally or an Watchman. 
Fardy's head was turned with it all. If he 
went to work in the field he found himself 
standing idly on the "ridge" leaning on his 
spade handle and dreaming of some great 
speech he would make in the near future. 
Do his best he could not work. Besides, 
though he refused to present himself for elec- 
tion as a County Councillor or D. C. — he 
must have thought it beneath him to 
be elected in the ordinary way — yet he con- 
sented to be co-opted on both. Later he 



ITS SUNSHINE AND SHADOWS. 65 



was put on the Asylum Board and a couple of 
committees, so that, as he himself said, "he 
could not really call a moment of time his 
own. His country needed him and it should 
have his services. " 

His house and place might "go to the dogs' 1 
for all Fardy cared now. His motherless 
family might starve or run away, but he was 
a public man who could think of nothing 
but public affairs. Fardy was a changed 
man. 

His eldest son, a lad of sixteen at the time 
of the Bandara meeting, seeing how things 
were going on left college a year and a half 
later and came home. His father was dis- 
gusted with his action and wanted to send 
him back; but Dick was determined, and, 
literally taking off his coat, set to work to 
keep things together and build up, if possible 
faster than his father knocked down. God 
strengthened him, for he succeeded admira- 
bly and Murty Glynn was no small assistance 
to him. At first the disappointed father 
openly hampered and contradicted the boy 
in everything he attempted. Dick bore it 
all patiently. He never let himself forget 
for a moment that this selfish tippler was his 
own father, and that two younger brothers 
and an only sister depended on himself alone. 

Later his father did not oppose him very 
much, but yet wanted to have things done 
his own way. He still gave personal atten- 
tion to fairs and market business, but after 



66 



AN IRISH PARISH, 



another few years Fardy, the wreck of his 
former self, ceased to take any interest even 
in that, and Dick, now a young man, managed 
everything as he thought fit. And right 
well did he do it. The effects of drink 
and politics in his father's case were a warn- 
ning to him, and he profitted by it, for he 
steered clear of both. 

His father's case he felt to be hopeless. 
He had done all he could to make him his 
old self — the father his boyhood knew — 
but it was all to no purpose. The priest's 
services he enlisted; he sought the help of 
neighbours, especially Murty Glynn; prayers 
he got offered; and every time he knelt to 
speak to God his father's conversion was 
before his mind, yet it all seemed no use. 
Fardy was sober occasionally for a month or 
two, and then a meeting of some sort took 
place, and he was tippling again for perhaps 
eight or ten months, and, during this time 
he turned up regurlaly at Tim Brady's. 
There he was captain of the assembly, gave 
his views on everything, reasoned things over 
till everybody agreed with him, read aloud 
the orations of every politician of note (in- 
cluding himself), and acted the part of a great 
leader of thought, forgetting the while the 
duties home claimed from him - — that God 
had given him children to care for and guide 
and guard, and that one of them — his 
youngest, his fairest, his only daughter — 
was slipping away from him, and that he 



ITS SUNSHINE AND SHADOWS. 



67 



who should make her so happy was crushing 
her poor loving heart, and causing her to die 
all the quicker. 

One night Fardy was in the middle of a 
(to him) most interesting discussion. It was 
past nine o'clock, and he was "well on it". 
Willie, his second son, came into the bar 
kitchen and begged him to "hurry home, as 
Caitlin was very weak and was asking for 
him. She wanted to speak to him. Would 
he come at once?" 

Fardy looked at the boy a moment with 
drunken eyes. 

"Go home, boy!" he hiccuped. 'Til, Til 
be after you in — in — a jiffey. Go you 
home, boy." And then he turned to the 
others and continued the wise and learned 
discussion. Ay! he would be time enough 
when the clock struck ten and Tim Brady 
put up the shuts and cleared them out. He 
would be time enough! 

Not even at ten did he hurry home, but 
loitered every few paces to drive home some 
point for the benefit of those friends who hap- 
pened to be going his way. Eleven was 
striking as he groped at his own door. He 
pushed it open at last and staggered into 
the kitchen. His two sons were there be- 
fore him. They looked up as he entered, 
but seeing his state gazed into the fire again. 
Fardy, forgetful of the message he had re- 
ceived almost two hours before, thought they 
had waited up for him - — a thing he detested 



68 



AN IRISH PARISH, 



— so, with a great show of virtue which ill 
became him, he loudly demanded: 

' 'What's the meaning of this sitting up all 
night? You boys should be in bed at this 
hour! I'm able to take care of myself." 

"Hush! what's this noise about?" asked 
Father O'Dwyer in a whisper, as he came 
quickly from the sick room and took off his 
purple stole. "Ah! Fardy, Fardy, Fardy! 
Is it so, and are you gone so very low? Yet 
I'm not very much surprised at your state, 
but Fm shocked — disgusted that any father 
should refuse to come to the death-bed of his 
only daughter!" 

"Beg pardon, Father — " 

"Beg God's pardon when you're in the 
condition to do so!" 

"Death-bed! Death-bed! Beg pardon, 
sir, I'm in my own house. What did you 
say about death-bed?" 

"I say Caitlin is dying — speak easier, that 
we may not disturb her. She is dying, and 
you would not come from the public-house 
to see her. Be quiet, you, now, and don't 
disturb her. She is resting easily at present. 
Go to your room and sleep it off and then 
you may see her." 

A wonderful change had been coming over 
Fardy while the priest was speaking. He 
was not sobered by the shock, but it seemed 
to him as if a great black shadow had come 
upon him. 

"Father, let me in now. I want to speak 



ITS SUNSHINE AND SHADOWS. 69 



to Caitlin. There's something I want to 
tell her. Let me speak to my poor child/ ' 
"No!" said the j priest, "certainly not! 
You would not come when you were in a 
better condition to see her. Go sleep, off 
the effects of your liquor first, and then speak 
to the poor child. Take him to his room, 
boys!" 

Fardy glared, but the priest's hand was 
laid heavily on his shoulder. Father O' 
Dwyer meant what he said. 

"I'll go to my room," said he, sullenly, 
as he stumbled towards it. 

When Fardy opened his eyes, it was the 
clear dawn. He found himself fully dressed, 
as he had merely thrown himself on the bed 
the night before. He tried to collect his 
thoughts. Who vexed him last night? Why 
had he not undressed? Ah! yes, he thought 
of it now. Caitlin was sick, dying — per- 
haps dead now! He jumped up and hastened 
into the kitchen. The fire burned brightly, 
the lamp was still lighting, as it had been 
all night, and as he stood in wonder in the 
middle of the floor, he heard the low voices 
brokenly reciting the litany for the dying. 
There was a pause. 

"Oh! poor, poor, gentle Caitlin, you're 
gone from us," cried Dick, and burst into 
tears. There was a low wail, and Fardy 
rushed in. He was late. Caitlin was gone 
out of life. He gazed at her for a moment, 
then went to the bedside and kneeling, 



70 



AN IRISH PARISH, 



caught her hand and covered it with kisses 
and tears. 

"I'm late, and it's my own fault, God for- 
give me. I don't blame your brothers for 
not wakening me. I didn't deserve it. — 
Dick and Willie, come over here to me till 
you witness what I wanted to tell Caitlin 
last night. In death let her do what neither 
she nor you could do in life. Hear me, my 
sons, and pardon me the past, if ye can! I 
will never, with God's help and the help of 
His Holy Mother, never again taste intoxicat- 
ing drink, nor go into the temptation ; God give 
me strength to keep my word, and maybe 
my poor Caitlin will ask that grace from God 
for me!" 

He kissed her white hands again and again 
and then his sons kissed him; and, with the 
neighbours that were witnesses of this sad 
scene, they bowed their heads, and said the 
Rosary for her soul. 

Little more than a year passed by, and 
Fardy had more than kept his word. He 
neither drank, spoke of politics, nor did any 
of those other things that at one time dis- 
distracted him from the love he should have 
shown his children. He went but little 
from home. Oftentimes he visited his daugh- 
ter's grave and, kneeling on the damp grass, 
prayed for her, and then he would kiss the 
green sod before he came away. Thus more 
than a year passed. 

One evening he remained from home Ion- 



ITS SUNSHINE AND SHADOWS. 71 



ger than usual. Towards nightfall it was 
turning cold and wet, and his sons, getting 
uneasy, went to seek him. They found him 
on Caitlin's grave, and they lifted him gently 
and brought him with them. 

Later in the night he asked for the priest 
and he added: 

"I won't see Caitlin's grave again, but I'll 
see herself soon." 

That very night he died a holy, happy death 

"So Murty and Matt went to the wake?" 
I glanced up from the last page. 

"And I was at the funeral," said Fr. O'Hara. 

"Maybe, then, you are the Fr. O'Dwyer 
who anointed Caitlin?" 

"Maybe so!" and he gave a slight toss of 
his head that left me still in doubt. 



'ONLY A STONE BREAKER." 



MY neighbour and friend, Dr. Mac- 
Sharry, invited me to dinner. 
There were just three! of us — MacSharry, 
Major Brownson, a Co. Meath landlord who 
had lately rented a shooting lodge in the 
parish, and myself. Our host had previously 
warned me of the Major's violent temper, 
especially explosive, if anyone dared oppose 
his views on the state of Ireland, and had 
begged of me to keep clear of every sub- 
ject savouring of politics, "for" he said, "if 
he starts and you start, I'm likely to start, 
and I'm as hot as his best. But he's my guest, 
and of course I don't want to offend, so steer 
him off all national questions and don't give 
me a chance to open my mouth!" 

I did my best to keep Brownson off the 
rocks, but he continually turned the conver- 
sation back on the "utter lawlessness of the 
Irish people," and cited as examples, the ex- 
aggerated accounts he had read, in the tory 
press, of outrages real and alleged. Once I 
saw MacSharry about to take him up and 
abruptly introduced the soothing subject 
of music, but the Major was not to be drawn 
off. At last a happy thought struck me. 
I broke through my ordinary reserve and 
offered to take up Brownson's argument's 
point by point and requested MacSharry to 



74 



AN IRISH PARISH, 



act as umpire. My offer was accepted, so 
the situation, since the umpire was excluded 
from taking sides, was saved. 

I began by mentioning that my knowledge 
of the Irish people was first hand, as I was 
brought up amongst them, and amongst 
them I worked, intimate with their outward 
and inward lives, and depending on no 
garbled or prejudiced press reports. I argued 
as best I could and had the feeling that I 
was clearing this man's mind of a lot of pre- 
judice, but when I had concluded what I 
thought was a clear, logical defence of my 
country and its people, Brownson exclaim- 
ed impatiently: — 

"It doesn't matter a pin sir, what you may 
say, you can never justify injustice, and 
your people commit the most terrible in- 
justices !" 

"Pray how?" I inquired. 

"Why, sir, you must be blind not to see it! 
Don't you know full well what is taking 
place every day, made public in the courts 
of law and in the press. If a man pays for a 
farm of land, or rents it for a year, or has 
more than his neighbour, he is boycotted, 
ostricised, shot at and tyrannised over by a 
pack of porter barrel demagogues! Don't 
you know that, sir?" 

"I do not, Major, you are misinformed," 
I emphatically asserted. 

"But the courts " 

"Receive their knowledge from police re- 



ITS SUNSHINE AND SHADOWS. 



75 



ports and to speak mildly I have more reliance 
on my own personal knowledge. Occasion- 
ally such incidents as you have enumerated 
do occur but it is wrong to lay them at the 
doors of the people in general, when it is 
well known that only a few ill advised boys 
with a wrong notion of national duty are 
guilty of it. Furthermore, granting there is 
a general discontent, but not general lawless- 
ness, I can explain it as the evil effect of 
an evil cause/ ' 

"I should be pleased to hear your explana- 
tion, sir," and the Major leant back in his 
chair. 

"Very well, Major, if you will be so good 
as to postpone the discussion until after 
dinner, I shall try to tell a little story that 
demonstrates the cause of the discontent 
far better, perhaps, than any argument of 
mine can do." 

"Psa! A story against facts !" sneered 
Brcwnson. It was hard to be patient with 
him. 

"But the story happens to be fact, too," 
I replied with forced calmness. "It is a 
little modern history that some of us are too 
ready sometimes to overlook. — Now, Dr., 
you may for the present retire from your 
position as umpire, and we'll 'talk of graves' 
or music, or anything you like till the cloth 
is removed, and then for the boredom of 
my story ! M 



76 



AN IRISH PARISH, 



"He was only a poor stone-breaker, "and 
the first time I saw him was on a bright 
summer evening, a day or two after my arri- 
val in the parish. I was taking a walk where 
the road ran through a magnificent wood 
and the great trees on each side, entwining 
their long, leafy branches overhead, cut out 
the heat of the glaring sun and made a delight- 
fully cool walk beneath. 

I had just entered the wood, when I saw the 
old man rise with difficulty from the heap 
of stones he had been breaking, and go 
slowly along the road before me. He paused 
awhile opposite a "grand-gate/ 9 and taking 
off his hat, crossed himself. He was praying 
with bowed head as I came nearer, and as I 
had no desire to interupt I, too, paused. I 
felt sure that inside the battered wall was 
an old graveyard where rested the ashes of 
some he once knew and loved, but imagine 
my surprise when, on looking through a 
gap, I saw only a great, ruined mansion, 
roofless and weather- torn, crows cawing a- 
round its gaunt chimneys and flying through 
its broken windows. 

"May God forgive them and me!" came 
from the old man and again he went slowly 
on, and, I thought, more sadly. 

I wondered why he prayed at that gate 
and hastened to overtake him. His name, 
he told me, was Ned O'Brien, and, when I 
had made myself known, his old, worn hands 
clasped mine. 



ITS SUNSHINE AND SHADOWS. 77 



"Musha! then you're heartily welcome here, 
Father !" he said, "an' I'm sure you'll .like 
this place, too. There was never a priest 
here that wasn't lonesome leavin'it!" They 
say that in every parish in Ireland, and I 
think it's true. 

For a time we spoke of various things 
and when the conversation at last drifted 
to the ruined mansion in the wood, I asked 
him why he prayed as he passed its gate. 

The compressed lips and sad look in his 
eyes told me I had touched a sore wound and 
I felt sorry I had asked the question. 

"Wethen, Father!" said the old stone- 
breaker, "if you'd like to hear the reason o' 
that, I'll tell you, an' welcome. An' maybe 
whin I've finished you'd be able to tell 
me whether, after all, I'm so much to blame 
as I think I am." 

And now I give the substance of the old 
man's story; as he did not, I believe, give 
himself his full measure of praise, I shall en- 
deavour to do so for him. 

Castle Balstone, that we had just passed, 
had been a "great" place at one time, and a 
proud family dwelt within its walls. As was 
usual with great families in those days, the 
Baldstones lived beyond their means, and 
to make ends meet, they crushed and crushed 
their large tenantry till the latter could 
scarcely call their lives their own. Every 
penny, whether they could spare it or not, 
was wrung from them, and the wonder now 



78 



AN IRISH PARISH, 



is, how the people could have borne the in- 
justice so long and so patiently, but possibly 
it was because they were so used to being 
crushed that they hadn't the hearts left in 
them to fight. Still they clung to their 
little places in the mountains and in the bogs 
whither they had been exiled to starve. 
They clung to them because they loved them 
for their father's sakes, who, toiling and sweat- 
ing to improve the land, had sanctified every 
sod, and, then, there was the hope that God 
would at last take pity on them and send 
them better days. 

Ned was one of the tenants and had reason 
to remember the fact. He told me of the 
winter, nigh on thirty-five years ago, when 
old George Balstone died. 

"We were glad of it, an' no wonder," said 
Ned, "for he was a hard, cold-hearted man. 
An' thin, we expected the new landlord, who 
was a young man, an' had seen a lot of the 
world, would at least leave the rents as they 
were an' not make our burthen heavier. We 
lit bonfires for him (may God forgive us!) 
whin he came home, an' at once dismissed 
Harry Simson from the agency, for we blamed 
Harry for a lot of our misfortunes. But 
sure! Mo lean gear! It wasn't from any good 
cause he did that, but because he was a 
greater skinflint than his father an' wanted 
to save Harry's salary an' be his own agent!" 

The next thing that happened was that 
the tenants got notice of a further increase 



ITS SUNSHINE AND SHADOWS. 



79 



of rent to be paid at a certain date, and any- 
one failing to pay should get the roadside. 
All the tenants came together to see what was 
to be done, and a sadder and more broken 
body of men can scarcely be imagined- It 
is easy to find fault with the Irish and say 
they are backward, but when we remember 
that for centuries they had the protection 
of no law, but rather had all the power of 
their rulers levelled against them, we can only 
wonder that they survived the ordeal. 

There was the crowd of tenants; old men 
who had worn themselves out making rich 
land of poor and having their rents increased 
for their pains; middle aged men, who saw 
downright starvation staring them in the 
face, if their burthen were made heavier, 
and young men, who only remained on the 
soil because they had aged fathers and mo- 
thers depending on them. 

"What's to become of us all?" murmured 
old Paddy Hussian. "Sure, if we spoke to 
him, he couldn't be so hard-hearted as not 
to show us some fair play!" 

"Hard-hearted!" came from another. "Sure 
the man has no heart at all. An' as for fair 
play! Never expect fair play from a Balstone!" 

"I wonder if we brought the parish priest 
with us, would he listen to him?" suggested 
Matt Hannifin. 

"We won't bring Fr. John where he'll be 
insulted," said Ned O'Brien. "Didn't old 
George threaten to horsewhip him once before 
for interferin' " 



80 



AN IRISH PARISH, 



"An' didn't Fr. John pay the ould divil 
back well for it ?" said Matt. 

"I don't care," said Ned. "This new man 
as far as I can make him out cares neither 
for God nor devil. Let us face him ourselves 
like min, an' whin he sees us combined maybe 
he'll listen to reason." 

"An' if he doesn't listen to reason," said 
young Cullen, "maybe he'd listen to some- 
thing else!" 

There was a disapproving murmur at that, 
for all knew what was meant, but murder 
was the last thing they would think of. 

At last Ned's counsel prevailed and they 
went in a body to the hall-door of Balstone 
Castle. 

Ned looked around him and thought with 
himself that he had least of all to suffer. 
Only his wife and a boy of eleven years of 
age depended on him, and even if the worst 
came they could make out a living some way. 
Besides, he was then fully six feet in height 
and that made him feel stronger and braver 
as he gazed at the broken comrades that 
were with him. He had heard that real 
tyrants are sometimes appeased with one great 
victim, and the thought occurred to him that 
if he made himself very prominent, Balstone 
would wreck vengeance on him and, as he 
would think, to make it more bitter, would 
give the others a chance. 

It was worth trying, and, anyhow, worse 
off than they were they could not be; so 



ITS SUNSHINE AND SHADOWS. 



81 



telling the rest to leave everything to him, 
he went boldly up the steps and rang the 
bell. 

The footman came to the door. 
"I want to speak to Mr. Balstone," said 
Ned. 

"He's not at home," was the answer. 
But Ned had caught a glimpse of the master 
of the castle, as, hiding behind the curtains 
of the drawing room window, he watched 
and listened. 

"I want to see Mr. Baldstone." And Ned 
pretended he did not understand. 

"He's not at home, I say," repeated the 
footman. 

"But I want to see him," said Ned dog- 
gedly. 

"But you can't see him," returned the 
servant. 

"I must and I will see him," and Ned was 
now thoroughly roused. 

"Aisy, Ned, aisy!" was suggested from 
behind, but Ned's blood was up. He put 
his foot before the door as the footman at- 
tempted to close it; and the latter could only 
wonder whether this peasant was mad to 
speak thus within earshot of his master, for 
he, too, knew that Balstone, was listening. 

"Look here, my man," said Ned, "go to 
your master in the drawing room there and 1 
tell him we came to see him on business!" 
And, overawed by Ned's six foot of manly 
strength, the footman hastened to obey. 



82 



AN IRISH PARISH, 



Could Ned have foreseen the full consequences 
of his action, he might not have been so 
rash, but in the excitement of the moment 
he took no time to consider. 

Balstone glared as the servant entered. 
His face was livid with passion; his clenched 
hands trembled as he ordered the man to re- 
turn and say: "The damned churlish fellow 

should see him and by h would have 

cause to regret it." 

Balstone, then taking a revolver from a 
drawer, saw that every chamber was loaded, 
and put it in his pocket. He went out the 
back entrance and on his way picked up a 
huge dog-whip. Reaching the stables, he 
ordered his horse and paced madly to and 
fro fuming and cursing till at last he was 
mounted. 

Meanwhile the footman had returned to 
the tenants to say Mr. Balstone should see 
them. Not knowing what was to happen 
next, they could do naught but keep all their 
attention fixed on the door of the castle, ex- 
pecting every moment their landlord should 
appear. But he did not come that way. 
Instead, he rode around from the yard and, 
keeping his horse on the soft, green sward, 
came noiselessly on their rear. The first in- 
dication of his presence was a scream from old 
Hushian as he was dealt a heavy blow from 
the butt of the dog-whip. The crowd scat- 
tered to right and left as the savage blows 
rained down on these poor defenceless men. 



ITS SUNSHINE AND SHADOWS. 



83 



"You curs!" roared the master of Balstone 
Castle, "how dare you come to my door? 
How dare you come to speak to me? Be- 
gone from here this instant and pay your 
rents, and be thankful that I take them in- 
stead of hunting every damn one of you off my 
property !" 

The horse stamped and plunged about as 
his rider struck out on all sides. Suddenly 
the reins and whip were seized by Ned O'Brien. 

"Stop that!" he called out. "We are not 
curs to be whipped like this; we are men!" 

A struggle began for possession of the whip. 
Someone rushed forward to catch the horse, 
so as to give Ned more freedom, but the 
latter cried: 

"Leave him alone! This is my fight. I 
am to blame for all this an' I want only 
myself to suffer for it!" He then released 
the reins and seizing the whip in both hands 
wrenched it from its owner. His first 
thought was to give a sound trashing to 
Balstone, but he changed his mind and flung 
the whip into the shrubbery that grew close by. 

Balstone was speechless with fury. For a 
few moments he sat as one transfixed, while 
Ned jumped to the horse's head again and 
seized the reins. At last the rider recovered 
himself sufficiently to command: 

"Let go my horse instantly, you damned 
scoundrel!" 

"I will if you let us go as we came — in 
peace," was the answer. 



84 



AN IRISH PARISH, 



''Let go my horse !" came still more fiercely 
from the other, as he levelled the shining 
revolver at O'Brien's head. A murmur of 
horror broke from the crowd of tenants, but 
before one of them could come to the assis- 
tance of their leader, he had seized Balstone's 
wrist and pointed the weapon upwards. 
Again the horse plunged. Again the struggle 
began ; and again the pampered tyrant proved 
no match for the hardy son of toil. 

Balstone gave in! 

"Look here, O'Brien !" he gasped, "you 
must leave my lands at once and take this 
rabble with you!" 

"We only came to speak reasonably with 
you, an' this is how you met us!" 

"How dare you talk to me like that! Take 
yourself and these fellows off!" 

"Put aside the revolver, thin, an' we'll go!" 

"I will not. I'll hold it in my hand, but 
will not use it, unless it's necessary." 

"What guarantee have I for that?" 

"My word of honour as a gentleman!" 

Ned smiled at the expression from such a 
source. 

"I'll chance it," he said, after a pause, and 
forthwith released the hand he held and 
walked ahead. 

He turned after a little and said: 

"Mr, Balstone, remember the tenants 
came here by my advice an' I hope you will 
visit the consequences on me alone." 

"By G ! to your death you will regret 



ITS SUNSHINE AND SHADOWS. 85 



this day's work! Proceed I" And like sheep 
he drove them through the gate at the point 
of his revolver. They were overcome by 
the power that, in this world, wrong often 
possesses over right. 

Outside the gate, the tenants were dispers- 
ing to their respective homes; but Ned 
walked sullenly to the centre of the road. 
He well knew his fate was sealed anyhow 
and determined to show a last piece of in- 
dependence. Once on the highway he again 
faced the landlord. 

"Won't you go home?" demanded Balstone; 
"and I swear you won't have a home to go to 
for long!" 

"Fm now on the public road," returned 
Ned. "You could order me off your own 
land, but I have as much right to be here as 
you have!" 

"You insolent scoundrel!" Ned had only 
time to strike the revolver upwards when it 
went off. The frightened horse dashed away 
and threw the rider heavily against the wall; 
and as he lay there unconscious the first to 
run to his assistance was the man whom, a 
short time before, he had sworn to make a 
homeless wanderer! Yet people call the Irish 
savages ! ! 

Ned O'Brien was arrested for attempting 
the life of William Balstone! Even a packed 
jury could not be got to agree on the verdict 
and from assizes to assizes the case had to 
be adjourned. A scrap of news from wife 



86 



AN IRISH PARISH, 



or child or neighbour never reached him during 
all the months of his confinement, and when, 
at last, a "nolle prosequi" was entered, and 
he was unexpectedly released, he turned his 
steps to where his home once had been. He 
found only a roofless cabin, a weed-grown 
garden. But saddest news of all, his wife, 
tortured by anxiety and almost broken- 
hearted, had fallen ill shortly after his arrest. 
In a raging fever she was thrown on the road- 
side, and died the very night of the evic- 
tion. 

Sorrow and anger drove O'Brien almost 
mad, and he rushed to Balstone Castle to 
avenge the murder of his wife. Ever after- 
wards he blessed God that he did not meet 
the landlord, or perhaps, he too, would be a 
murderer from that day. But in his frenzy 
he cursed the Balstones, and prayed that he 
would see their castle roofless and the crows 
flying through its windows. 

"An' there it is, Father/ 1 concluded the 
poor old stonebreaker. "I have seen what 
I prayed for, an' whin, I first saw it, I felt I 
had done a great wrong, an' ever since whin 
I pass the gate I ask God to forgive thim an' 
me!" 

"Your curse was in anger/ ' I said, "and 
likely had nothing to do with their downfall. 
I believe rather it was the just vengeance of 
God that overtook them. But what of your 
son?" 

"My son, Father, went to America, an' 



ITS SUNSHINE AND SHADOWS, 



87 



but for him 'tis a hard struggle I'd have to 
get along. Many's the father and mother 
have reason to bless the children that were 
driven from their native land as my boy 
was. But thank God! Father, I'll see him 
soon. The Estate Commissioners have pur- 
chased the property an' I'm gettin' back my 
ould place, an' my son is comin' home to 
look after me an' keep me for the rest of my 
days ! Sure God |is kinder to me than I deserve . 9 1 

"What do you think of that, Major? Do 
you agree that the stone-breaker got more 
than he deserved ?" asked MacSharry. 

"I do not!" said the Major emphatically. 

"I have another story/ ' said the Doctor; 
"but perhaps, Major, you have enough for 
the present? Meanwhile it may do you no 
harm to consider whether you would be as 
lenient towards Balstone as O'Brien was or 
would you rather take a hand in the lawless- 
ness you so vehemently condemn?' ' 

Major Brownson looked at him but said 
nothing. 



'THE TALE OF A BEGGAR." 



HE three of us were again seated 



A at Dr. MacSharry's cheerful fire- 
side. Outside the wind blew in fitful gusts 
around the angles of the house and whistled 
and moaned through the tree-tops ; and every 
now and again dashed the rain against the 
window-panes. As we listened to the storm 
the fireside seemed to have added chaim and 
to be an extra cosy place, so we settled our- 
selves for a comfortable chat. However, the 
wind and rain continually diverted our at- 
tention, and conversation flagged. 

"What about that story you promised us, 
Doctor?' ' I ventured at last. "We want 
something special to interest us." 

"I don't know will what I have to say 
prove very interesting," returned MacSharry. 
"However, if you want it, you shall have it 
with pleasure." 

"Something on the same lines as the one 
we listened to the other evening, I suppose?" 
suggested the Major. 

"Well, not altogether," said the Doctor. 
"The same tune, though, but different words. 

"That tune is justification of outrages in 
Ireland?" and the Major shrugged his shoul- 
ders. 

"Oh! God forbid we'd encourage outrages, 
Major," I hastened to explain. "I think 
you don't exactly grasp our point." 




90 



AN IRISH PARISH, 



"Well, now, gentlemen, my point is this," 
Major Brownson argued. "Take a man, as 
I have said on a previous occasion, who has 
a large farm or who takes one for eleven 
months. He pays for it and, therefore, has 
a right to use it. Then ignorant fellows, 
filled with envy, threaten him, unless he gives 
up the farm and suffers enormous loss; and 
when, very rightly, too, he refuses to obey 
them, they knock down his walls and drive 
his stock helter-skelter through the country! 
Yet, you two gentlemen of responsible pos- 
itions demand my sympathy for such pro- 
ceeding! In the name of common sense, do 
try to be rational ?" 

"I see your point quite well," said the 
Doctor, "but I don't think it's my place to 
argue the morality of cattle-driving." And 
he looked sideways at me. 

"I'm sure I'm not going to do it, Doctor," 
I said. "All I wish to state is we're not 
trying to justify outrages, but to show they're 
the result of previous unjust treatment of 
the people." 

'That's quite right — that's quite true!" 
and fire gleamed in MacSharry's eyes as he 
continued: "These outrages are the natural 
outcome of the method of land tenure that 
obtained here and the form of government 
by which the country unfortunately was ruled ! 
I tell you, Major, a hostile gentry, an alien 
rule, an irrational system of education, have 
left Ireland as you see it — though it seems 



ITS SUNSHINE AND SHADOWS. 



91 



to me you see it as from afar off; and what 
wonder is it, if the general body of the Irish 
people are discontented, and a few, who cause 
you to condemn all, tired of waiting for justice 
to be done them, are tempted to other means 
for obtaining it?" 

"Nice means they use, too!" said Brown- 
son grimly. 

"Hardly nice, I admit," returned Mac- 
Sharry, "but of such a character as at least 
to arouse the curiosity of the Government 
as to the real cause of them, and then, by 
removing the cause, restore Ireland to a 
normal, happy, prosperous condition!" 

"Very fine — very fine — in theory!" was 
the Major's comment. "I think you have 
now prepared the way for your story, Doctor, 
and I can make a good shot at the drift of 
it. So, go ahead, sir!" 

"Convince a man against his will — you 
know the rest of it. I think your case is 
absolutely incurable, Major, but I'll try the 
story on you, as it's a demonstration of my 
argument. Thus, as in the body pain is 
caused by physical defect and ceases when 
the cause is removed, so in Ireland discon- 
tent follows harsh treatment; removal of 
harsh treatment restores happiness and pros- 
perity." 

"I am going to tell you an experience of my 
own," he said. "It is one I have never re- 
lated before, and I must ask you not to re- 
peat it until either I give permission or am 
dead." 



92 



AN IRISH PARISH, 



We readily gave the promise, little think- 
ing that less than a year should release us 
from the obligation of silence. God rest Dr. 
MacSharry's soul! He was a good man. 

"I remember one Sunday afternoon, a 
couple of years after I had come here," con- 
tinued the Doctor, "just such an evening as 
this. The rain was coming down in torrents 
and the wind howling. I hoped no one would 
need my services till the wind and rain had 
ceased at any rate, and was just settling my- 
self in this armchair for a read and a smoke, 
when a resounding rat-tat-tat on the knocker 
made me jump, and a few moments later my 
motherly housekeeper entered: 

"Wethin now, isn't it too bad," she began, 
"an' it such a terrible evenin'? Mrs. Delarey's 
son is abroad, sir, to say she's very bad en- 
tirely an' for you to go over at once." 

I was surprised at being called to Mrs. 
Delarey's as I had seen her, apparently in 
perfect health, at Mass that morning. In 
fact, I always had taken particular notice of 
her, as in her snowy cap, bound with a green 
silk band, her dark-brown dress and black- 
hooded cloak, she seemed to me the very 
ideal of an Irish mother; and then her fine, 
clear-cut features and stately walk might 
well have been those of a queen. Of course 
there were many others as good as she, but 
no one so distinguished looking, or who so 
much claimed my attention. 

The answers of her son to my inquiries led 



ITS SUNSHINE AND SHADOWS. 



93 



me to think something serious was the mat- 
ter, and I set out at once on horse-back — 
I rode a lot in those days. 

An easy trot through the darkness of the 
wood and then a gallop over the open bog- 
road brought me to the head of the hmthrin, 
and soon I was being assisted to the ground 
and guided over the fern-strewn "street'' 
to the door of the patient's house. 

"There it was, Major, an Irish home. r 
You are drawing your income, sir, from such 
people, and I'd lay a wager you don't know 
what their homes are like! How can you 
sit in judgment on them?" and the Doctor 
was very earnest. "There it was: the shin- 
ing tinware on the whitewashed walls re- 
flecting the light of the bright turf-tire that 
blazed on the hearth. The dresser spotless 
and on its lowest shelf a row of jugs and mugs; 
its second and third shelves adorned with 
the old-fashioned blue plates, and on the 
top one, three immense dishes. The well- 
scrubbed table beside the door was laid for 
a simple supper; a great chest in the corner 
beyond the fire and the settle, a seat by day, 
a bed by night, under the window! Nothing 
superfluous, nothing that was not needed, 
but everything there told of the love cf the 
household for comfort and cleanliness, if 
only they were left in peace and got a fair 
chance. Yet that very home was condemned 
to be torn down, its occupants to be driven 
up the mountain side, in order, forsooth. 



94 



AN IRISH PARISH, 



that the farm be turned to better use! To 
fatten the cattle and sheep of a rich, avari- 
cious landlord!! Ah! Major Brownson, I 
have seen this sort of thing so often that my 
sympathy, not only as an Irishman, but as a 
man, is wholly with the people, and is it 
any wonder, I ask?" 

The Doctor looked about him, but as we 
made no comment, he continued: 

" Pardon me for giving way to my feelings 
so much, but I can't help it sometimes. * * * 
I went into the sick room and when Mrs. 
Delarey had welcomed me (they never for- 
get that), she told her daughter to leave us 
and 'pull the door after her/ 

"Well, Mrs. Delarey, M I said when we were 
quite alone, "how are you feeling? Have you 
any pain?" 

"Doctor, a mhuirnin" she replied. "I 
hope you won't be vexed w T ith me, but thanks 
be to God an' His Holy Mother, I'm neither 
sick nor sore!" 

I was certainly astounded at this infor- 
mation. 

"Sure, I knew you'd be vexed with me," 
she went on, as she looked at my face, "an' 
why wouldn't you, to be brought out in such 
terrible bad weather; but what could I do? 
I have a heavy load on me mind, and didn't 
like sindin' for the priest, because he'd be 
bringin' the Blessed Sacrament with him on 
a vain journey. An' I could think of no one 
else to tell but you, a stoir, for I know you're 
honest an' '11 know what's best." 



ITS SUNSHINE AND SHADOWS. 



95 



I knew by her anxiety that she had really 
good reason to send for me, but still did not 
care to have more than my own professional 
responsibilities shifted on to my shoulders. 

"Oh! if it's something that's on your mind," 
I said, "you'd better tell the priest. I can 
send him up on my way back and explain 
that he's not to bring the Blessed Sacrament." 

"Ora! Stop a stoirl" she exclaimed. "Sure 
there's not that much time to be spared! 
Wait till you hear what I have to say." 

"And now," said MacSharry, "I must 
make a digression and describe the condition 
of affairs here at the time." 

It seems that long before I came here, old 
Edward Cartley found farming a very pro- 
fitable investment for his immense wealth, 
and having all the domain property occupied 
sought additional farms. He consulted Jack 
Merlyn, his agent and stock-master, on the 
matter and was recommended by the latter 
to transplant the tenants from the good lands 
they held to the mountain and bog and 
'carrigeens', thereby giving himself much 
additional grazing. Cartley had some scruple 
about this arrangement, and did not care 
at once give his consent to it, but eventually, 
following the example of the neighbouring 
landlords, he told the agent he might do as 
he desired. 

The clearance began, and the unfortunate 
people saw their homesteads razed to the 
ground, and the lands they had drained and 



AN IRISH PARISH, 



tilled and manured turned into great grazing 
ranches for another. 

It was commonly said that young Cartley 
strongly objected to this treatment of the 
tenants. His objection was unheeded, and 
as a result he left home and got a commission 
in the army. The transplanting continued 
during the following years, but the dreadful 
business was conducted in such a fashion 
that the tenants were driven to no positive 
outbreak; and, besides, they well knew, from 
the sad experience of others, that resistance 
meant greater evils. 

One day old Cartley got a fit of apoplexy. 
I was called to his bedside, but on my way I 
met Fr. Connell returning and he told me 
I was late. The man had already gone to 
give an account of his stewardship. 

I've never seen so small a funeral. His 
own servants, a handful of the neighbouring 
gentry, the priest and myself — that was all. 
There was no mourner, as his son and grand- 
daughter, his only relatives, were, at that 
time, in India. Young Edward Cartley was 
now the landlord, and hopes beat high in 
the tenant's hearts; but on hearing of his 
father's death, he merely informed the agent 
that he had no present intention of returning 
and gave instructions as to how he wished 
the estate to be managed. What these in- 
structions were you will learn later. 

The agent (much to his regret, he stated, 
and, as a matter of fact, had always stated) 



HE WAS ACTING ON THE ORDERS OF COL. CARTLEY, 
THE AGENT TOOK CARE TO SAY, 



ITS SUNSHINE AND SHADOWS. 97 



continued the transplanting, and he took care 
to make it known that he was acting on the 
orders of Col. Cartley. But the climax was 
reached when the whole village of Ballynahash 
got notice that their time had come. They 
were to go,and not one by one either, but 
all together! 

"Of course," said the sleek agent, "Col. 
Cartley does not wish to treat you harshly. 
He is allowing you some months to prepare 
new houses and is giving you holdings on 
another part of the property.' ' "Of course/ 1 
said the Doctor, sarcastically; "of course he 
was! New holdings among the rocks of Cruc- 
follav and on the mountain waste lands !!" 

Ballynahash was a populous village, and 
as there is strength in numbers, there was 
a strong rumour of trouble. The agent was 
nagging at them for weeks to go, and the 
more peacefully and quietly they would go 
the better for them. Such was the state of 
things when suddenly almost without warn- 
ing, Col. Cartley came home. The interfe- 
rences of the agent at once ceased, but the 
people, filled with the thought of coming 
woe and sorrow, did not seem to notice that. 
A few were talking of making some appeal 
to the landlord, but a couple of weeks passed 
and that appeal was not made. A very few, 
five or six young men, I should think, were 
for taking drastic measures, and the wildest 
rumours went abroad. They seemed to have 
reached everybody, except Col. Cartley, whom 
they most of all concerned. 



98 



AN IRISH PARISH, 



Now, gentlemen, we return to Mrs. Dela- 
rey's bedside. 

"Whin I was comin' from Mass, to-day, 
Doctor/ ' she told me, "I got a lift in the cart 
from Tom Curtiss's son. Joe Dillon was 
along with him, and the two were sittin' in 
front an' I was behind. I have the name o' 
bein' very deaf, a stoir, but I'm not as bad 
as they think, an' so I caught a word o' what 
they were sayin' here and there. Maybe it 
wasn't right for me to listen, but, sure, they 
knew I was there, an' why did they speak? 

"Is it all settled?" says one. 

"Tis so," says the other; an' thin they 
whispered, an' I only heard "Rathmore House 
this evenin'." Well, I never thought of any- 
thing serious in all that, but I met the Rath- 
more butler after comin' off the cart, an' in 
the course o' talk, he told me there was to be 
a great dinner that night in Rathmore, and 
Col. Cartley would be in it. Like a flash it 
crossed my mind why the two lads were 
talkin' o' Rathmore that's such a long way 
our this; an' puttin' that an' what everyone 
is hearin' together, I began to fear that some- 
thing is goin' to happen Master Eddy. I 
tried to put it out o' me head, but 'twas trou- 
blin' me all day. I didn't see any use tellin' 
me own lads, for what could they do, an' 
sure 'twould be hard to expect thim to take 
any trouble for the man they believe is goin' 
to evict thim. In troth, Doctor, I don't be- 
lieve anything bad o' the Colonel myself, 



ITS SUNSHINE AND SHADOWS. 



99 



for he was a nice, gintle boy an' very kind to 
everyone long ago. There's a mistake some- 
where an' he's not to blame. Don't let any- 
thing happen him, sir; bad work is bad! I 
was thinkin' o' goin' down to the priest, but 
I knew I wouldn't be let out in the rain, and 
while ago I thought o' yourself. I fell down 
forninst the fire an' they thought I fainted. 

<u Ora! What ails you, mother?" says they. 

"'Sind for the doctor,' says I; 'I want him 
badly, an' don't mind bringin' the priest till 
we see what the doctor thinks o' me.' They 
carried me into bed, an' now, a stoir, you have 
the load that was on my mind, an' if you think 
there's any grounds for my fears, you'll do the 
best you can!" 

Knowing all I did, I felt there were "grounds 
for her fears," so giving a few instructions 
about Mrs. Delarey's supposed illness and 
promising to send up a "bottle," I hurried 
away. As I galloped homewards, a new diffi- 
culty presented itself. If I went directly to 
Col. Cartley, I reasoned (not knowing the 
Irish then as I do now, Major), I thought I 
should lose the confidence of the neighbour- 
hood, and, of course, be ruined, as the mis- 
erable salary attaching to my dispensaries 
could scarce support me. Looking back from 
now, I, of course, see that I could have gone 
straight to Cartley Hall, and not be a bit 
the worse in consequence, but being a young, 
impetuous man, I did a very strange, foolish 
thing. 



100 



AN IRISH PARISH, 



"Well, well, well! Another sick-call, and 
on such an evening!" I called out as I reached 
my own door. That was to disarm the cu- 
riosity of my house-keeper as to my going 
out so soon again. I quickly procured an 
old canvas sack from the coach-house, threw 
an old suit of clothes into it, mounted and 
was away again. As I rode by Cartley Hall 
gates, I detected the figures of two men. I 
suspected they were there to learn if the 
Colonel went to the dinner-party. I saluted 
them, but received no response and trotted 
on. Further on the road I met two or three 
young fellows, but owing to the darkness 
could nor recognize them; I spoke to them 
that they might know me, but they, too, re- 
mained silent. At last I was beyond the 
domain and, riding a short distance, turned 
in an old "boithrin" that led to an untenanted, 
house. I put the horse in there, pulled on the 
old clothes, giving them a tear here and there, 
smeared my face with soot from the chimney 
and with a couple of sods of turf in my bag and 
a heavy walking stick was ready for my ad- 
venture. In my college days I had taken 
part in some amateur theatricals, and the 
little experience thus gained now stood to me 
as I played the part of a beggar. 

Back towards the wood and by the great 
high wall, I made my way. Unknown I 
stumbled by the fellows I had ridden past a 
short time before. I reached the gate and 
seating myself, fell to searching my pocket as 



ITS SUNSHINE AND SHADOWS, 101 



though for a piece of tobacco. The two 

watchers came over to me. 

|N "What are you doin' here?" asked one of 

them in a disguised voice. 

t-k" Resting' myself, a mhuirnin" I whined, 

"I'm tired an' nigh famished with the hunger 

Maybe you'd have something to spare for 

a poor man?" 

"Better for you to go to the village/ ' he 
returned; "you'll be sure to get something 
there." 

"I dunno," said I, "if I wint up to the 'big 
house' here, would they give me a bite to eat? 
Sure, worse than refuse, they can't." 

"Couldn't they, now?" said the second 
watcher. "Couldn't they set the dogs on 
you?" 

"Musha, sure they wouldn't be as bad as 
that," I replied. 

"Aisily known you're a stranger!" said No 2. 

"The best thing for you to do is go to the 
village!" advised No. L Then the other 
whispered him some thing and the first 
continued: "Well, try the 'big house' if you've 
a mind to,but I'm thinkin' you'll be sorry." 

"I will, thin," I grunted. And without 
more ado, took my bag on my back and hob- 
bled in the gateway and up the avenue. In 
the course of the converstion, I had recog- 
nized the two of them and was sorry for it. 

As I reached the Hall, Col. Cartley was 
descending the steps to the waiting carriage. 
Miss Cartley was not with him, for 



102 



AN IRISH PARISH, 



some reason or other. (The Colonel 
was a widower, by the way.) When 
he stepped on the terrace, I accosted him 
and begged some assistance; then in my na- 
tural voice I asked "the favor of an inter- 
view as I had something of grave importance 
to communicate/ 9 I had met him twice, but 
only for a few moments on each occasion; 
still I hoped he might recognize my voice. 
I expect his Indian training had taught him 
not to ow surprise at such happenings, 
at any rate, bidding me follow him, he turned 
back to the house, but stood just inside the 
door. 

"I'm in a hurry, just now," he said, "what 
do you want of me?" 

"Don't let it be seen that you know me, 
Colonel, if you do," I said," but take me to 
the library." He looked me up and down and 
then led the way. Somehow that has al- 
ways struck me as a poor compliment. 

Once we were alone in the library, I made 
myself known. 

"Can it be possibly you, Dr. MacSharry?" 
he cried, in his amazement. 

"Speak easy, for goodness sake," I said, 
"lest the servants know who I am." 

"Have you taken leave of your senses, 
Doctor?" he asked. 

"Not at all, sir; though I confess it looks 
like it." I then briefly told him all I knew, 
but gave no names. "And it is likely that 
on your return to-night the attempt will be 



ITS SUNSHINE AND SHADOWS. 103 



made," I concluded. "It may not even be 
safe to go, and I have come in this disguise 
to warn you to remain at home." 

" After what you tell me, Doctor, I am now 
determined on going. I cannot allow myself 
to be terrorised in this way." And after all 
my trouble, this was the result! 

'Then, Colonel, you are doing a great 
wrong not only to yourself but to your 
daughter. If the worst happens, and your 
body be carried home here, I ask you to pic- 
ture to yourself her misery; and think fur- 
ther how heavy a burthen her life will be, if 
she must go through it without you to guide 
and protect her." I saw him wince at that, 
for he loved his daughter, and I forth- 
with pursued that line of argument, till at 
last he consented to remain indoors that night. 

"But," he burst forth, "why on earth am 
/ attacked? What injury have / ever done 
my tenants? They won't surely punish me 
for the sins of my father; they know I left 
home on account of his treatment of them?" 

It was now my turn to be astonished. 

"Since you became master, Colonel," I 
informed him, "the same method of transplan- 
ting and evicting tenants has gone on as 
before — at least so I believe — and I can 
myself speak for the last two years, and I 
assure you I have been a witness of heartrend- 
ing scenes conducted on your property! Just 
now the people of Ballynahash have got 
notice that they are to be cleared within the 



104 



AN IRISH PARISH, 



next few months, and that, I think, is the 
cause of the present dreadful business." 

"My God!" he cried, "and I never knew 
a word of this. I left the management of 
everything to Merlyn. He encouraged me 
against my father long ago and I thought him 
kind-hearted and trustworthy. The damn 
rascal, I see now why he appeared so flurried 
when I walked suddenly into his office! I 
trusted him so much, Doctor, that I made ab- 
solutely no inquiry since I came home, though 
I wondered at the scarcity of farm-houses. 
Ton my word, he shall account for his hypo- 
crisy!" 

"And was there no increase in the amounts 
placed to your credit?" I inquired. 

"Increase! Why, there was a decrease, 
man, which he explained by the expense of 
restoring tenants and reducing rents, in ac- 
cordance with the instructions I had sent him 
as soon as I succeeded to the property!" 

"He must have feathered his own nest nice- 
ly, Colonel, at your and the tenants' expense," 
I could not help saying. 

"This all comes from not attending to my 
own business! Well," he said sadly, "I can 
hardly blame those poor fellows for their 
awful madness. They can scarcely be said 
to be accountable for their actions because of 
their sufferings — though they might have 
first explained affairs to me directly." Then 
he looked into my face. "I cannot tell you, 
Dr. MacSharry, how sincerely grateful I am 



ITS SUNSHINE AND SHADOWS. 



105 



to you for possibly saving my life and, second- 
ly, letting me know of this dreadful mis- 
management of my property. Believe me, 
it was done unknown to me and against my 
written instructions. My carriage is still 
at the door and you will give me pleasure if 
you will let me send it home with you." 

"Thank you, Colonel, but that would undo 
my evening's work. You must now proceed 
to kick me down the front steps, and please 
do it yourself; don't let the servants near me 
lest they should hurt." 

"Oh! nonsense, man!" he said. 

"Oh! never fear, Til make a suitable re- 
turn. I'll curse you and yours in fine style 
and go as I came — a beggar!" 

He demurred for a time, but at last, en- 
tering into the spirit of the thing, kicked me 
harmlessly out of the house. 

"Take yourself off!" he roared; "you con- 
founded impostor! How dare you come to 
me with your lying stories of poverty and sick- 
ness?" 

"May a hundred thousand curses light on 
your head, night, noon, and morning!" I 
returned from a safe distance. "May your 
ginerations to come taste the bitterness of 
sorrow, sickness and hunger before they die!" 
and so I continued till I reached the gate. 

To the two watchers, who were still there, 
I gave a wonderful recital of my hardships 
and stumbled along towards the village. 
When some distance away, I got over the wall 



106 



AN IRISH PARISH, 



on the opposite side of the road and doubled 
back through the fields. In a little streamlet 
I washed my face and hands, and crawling 
under the hedges reached my horse. In a 
few moments I was in my ordinary attire 
and mounting reached home without mishap. 
Long into the night I sat there thinking and 
laughing at the strangest life drama it has 
ever been my lot to take part in. 

And as the doctor gazed into the glowing 
fire, a smile played around the corners of his 
mouth. 

"Finish the story, MacSharry," said the 
Major; "surely there's an end to it." 

"Why everyone about here knows the rest 
of it! — but I forgot, you're both strangers. 
Well, the Colonel and the parish priest 
got the tenants together next day and every- 
thing was explained, from the instructions 
Col. Cartley gave in the beginning to the in- 
fernal scheming of the agent. The rents 
were reduced to make up for past wrongs, 
and the transplanted and evicted restored. 
Later the landlord sold the property under the 
'Ashbourne Act,' and soon the tenants will 
be owners of 'their little bit of Ireland/ 
They pray a long life for the man that gave 
them fair play, and he still lives among us, 
the most respected and popular landowner 
in the country/ 9 But the agent Black Jack 
Merlyn, the thief of the world, cleared out/' 
added MacSharry, vehemently. "He left the 
day after he met the Colonel, and hasn't 
been heard of since." 



ITS SUNSHINE AND SHADOWS. 107 



"Of course, you got those fellows at the 
gate arrested?' ' suggested Brown son. 

"Arrested! Why? On what evidence?" 
MacSharry shot the questions out. "Do you 
know, Major, they're now the two most 
contented, respectable and industrious far- 
mers in this or the next parish ?" 

"And the beggar?" I inquired;" did they 
ever learn who it was?" 

"They're still looking for the beggar!" 
chuckled the Doctor. And we all laughed. 



OFTEN I HAD ADMIRED THAT SCENE . 



"CLIFFS AND SEA." 



"/^\NE Sunday a year or so ago, when I was 
V-' curate in Killcannor," said Fr. O' 
Hara to me, "I remember a little experience 
of mine whose very recollection gives me 
pleasure and hope. 

It was an ideal Summer evening, and after 
dinner I took a walk along the cliffs, whose 
heads were crowned with purple heather and 
bright pinks and whose feet were bathed in 
the whispering waters of Killcannor Bay." 

"Very poetic indeed !" was my comment. 

"Ah! is that so! Perhaps it is; I sometimes 
get that way, you know. — Well to proceed 
with the poetry: There lay the lovely bay, 
rich by nature in possibilities, poor through 
man's lack of enterprise. The air was so 
beautifully clear that the *famaires could be 
seen by the naked eye sitting on the opposite 
cliffs and parading the promenade at Inch- 
beg; and the hotels and cottages, (whatever 
they looked like on close inspection), made 
a very pretty picture in the distance, as the 
sunshine, falling on the many white walls 
showed them in bold outline against the dark 
green background of the hills of Clare; and 
cliffs and hills and village were softly duplica- 
ted in the calm waters beneath. 

Often during the short time I was in Kill- 
cannor, I had admired the scene and even yet 
it would hold all my attention. A slight 

Holiday Makers 



110 



AN IRISH PARISH, 



movement close by caused me to look around 
and I beheld a young fellow seated on a soft 
bank, the moss covered fence supporting his 
back. He laid the book he had been read- 
ing face downwards beside him and saluted 
me. I went over and we got into conversa- 
tion. I found him to be one of that happily 
increasing band that will send the life blood 
coursing freely through the veins of Ireland, 
he was a sterling young Irish Irishman! 

Had I read in a book the short descrip- 
tion I am about to give you of this young 
man, I would consider it considerably ex- 
aggerated, but I assure you I met such as 
I describe and there are many of them. 

To begin with he was reading the History 
of Ireland in his own Irish language, and was 
an Irish scholar of no mean sort and had 
almost as much knowledge of English; he 
could read, write and speak the two langua- 
ges with the greatest ease, and yet he was an 
ordinary country boy, the son of a carpenter 
that lived within a hundred yards of where 
we were. What a pity," and he lowered his 
voice," that a land, producing such as he, 
should be so handicapped in the race of nat- 
ions? Well," he went on," I was more than 
agreeably surprised to find how interesting- 
ly he could discuss with me such questions as 
the development of Irish industry, economical 
and political movements and the value of 
each in proportion to the money expended 
and the resultant gain. 



ITS SUNSHINE AND SHADOWS. 



Ill 



As I was not a very fluent Irish speaker we 
were compelled after the first few phrases to 
use English and my companion spoke it with 
a fine soft brogue. It was another example 
that one can never judge a man's knowledge 
by his accent, for sometimes the man with 
the thickest brogue has the most brains and 
the one with the most exaggerated intona- 
tion the least sense. Though the boy lived 
so near me I had not before met him and I 
suppose that was because I had not called 
into many houses. A curate has such a 
"come and go" life that the more friends he 
makes in a parish the harder is the parting 
and that may account for want of interest 
on our part sometimes. However that's all 
by the way. 

Once my young friend changed the sub- 
ject of our conversation rather abruptly by 
asking me a strange question: 

"I want to ax you a question. Father. 
Are there people in it now who believe in 
sidheogs and pishrogues an' fairies an' the likes? 

"I have met people who would persuade 
themselves to believe in anything/ ' I re- 
turned/ 4 just as there are some who persuade 
themselves to believe in nothing/ ' 

"Well, the ray son I axed you that now/' 
said he, "is that a chap come here last July 
an', begorras, he found fairies playin' 'hide 
an' seek' among the daisies an' Iciprcachains 
whackin' shoes under every whitethorn bush. 
Dickens o' such lies ever anyone heard as he 



112 



AN IRISH PARISH, 



was told around here as soon as the people 
got to know him. I believe myself was the 
first to come across him bey ant on the road, 
but sure I couldn't make head or tail o' half 
all he was sayin' for I wasn't very well up 
thin. I'd be able for him now though, I 
think, an' I wouldn't have to tell him lies a 
nayther no more than I did thin." 

"What sort of person was he?" I asked. 

He described the visitor and I immediately 
recognized the 'fairy man.' I got all my 
companion had to tell me, and putting that 
with what I already knew, was able to write 
a short sketch. 

There's too much of this ethereal dreaming 
going on and too little earnest work; too 
many standing with their backs to the wall 
and their hands in their trousers pockets, 
and too few in the fields and the workshops; 
too many scoffing critics on the fence, and 
to few hurlers taking the field; still perhaps 
if I were writing this sketch to-day I might be 
more lenient. Do you think it's too severe?" 

"I can't say till I see it," I returned. 

"I forgot," he said. "Well here it is now." 
And he handed me a crumbled M.S. "I just 
found it in the linings of an old valise." 



"THE MYSTIC AND THE MAN"* 



HE Stranger was a small, thin man; 



A his long black hair fell in ringlets 
over his forehead, and behind its graceful 
curls reached even to his narrow shoulders. 
One would at first sight judge him a piano- 
tuner, or a poet, and on second thoughts in- 
cline to believe him a poet, as the opportu- 
nities for the former exercising his calling 
in backward Dun-na-Sgeithe behind the Doire 
Ban mountains were nil. He was a poet — 
a poet who peopled the world with fantastic 
creatures drawn from other worlds by his 
own innate and wonderful power, and among 
them he lived a life of deepest mystery, and 
learned things from the shadowy forms a- 
round him, which he put in a book, and sought 
to change, but could not, for the power of the 
People of his World was upon him, and he 
could not. Ordinary mortals did not under- 
stand half all the Stranger had told in the 
book — nor did he himself, possibly — yet 
what did it matter? He was a poet — a 
mystic — a mystic poet, and did he not hold 
a "poetic license"? 

Though it was a warm evening in July, 
a heavy overcoat enveloped his slender frame, 
for he was cold in the midst of sunshine, 
weary though he had rested much. He sought 
peace and quiet to think and dream on the 
weird inhabitants of duns and castles and hills 




* By kind permission of Ed. "C . Y. M ." 



114 



AN IRISH PARISH, 



and dismal places, and now he smiled for 
the loneliness of this Clare hillside pleased 
him, and he had found what he had sought 
for — peace to think and dream. 

But hark! over the hills came the merry 
shouts of the hay-savers, homeward bound 
from the meadows, the Stranger's heart was 
chilled; he sought loneliness, and it was not 
yet his. 

"I must seek further/ ' he said, as gathering 
his great coat round him, he went down the 
road. On he went, by hawthorn hedges and 
past green gardens and murmuring brooks 
till at last he left the hills behind and reached 
the barren bog-land that stretched towards 
the West. A stream came down from the 
mountain and turned a lazy mill-wheel be- 
yond. "Ah!" said the stranger, "an ideal 
loneliness reigns here. I could sit and dream 
by this dreary moor, and feel the pyrene calm 
of the quivering twilight as, ever and anon 
it whisks by the rhymical hill-tops and ga- 
thers in its wake the sprites of eve towards 
where the Golden Chariot glides on a crystal 
sunbeam to its green-grey bower 'mid whis- 
pering cloudlets." 

A while he stood and saw "the sprites of 
eve" passing over the moor, and with their 
shadowy arms waving him to follow in their 
wake; and then absorbed in the gathering 
gloom, they disappeared in an opal hush. 

"This is a beautiful peace," said the Stran- 
ger; "here could I rest and think and dream 



ITS SHADOWS AND SUNSHINE. 



115 



for ever, were it not for that babbling stream 
eterne, which distracts my ear, and that 
mill wheel whose dripping sides reflects the 
glanting beams and whose every revolution 
disturbs my vision of the three grey winds 
and the five blue spooks of the murky moor, 
whose plaintive cries rejoice my heart. I 
wish that wheel would stop, and 99 

"Faix, thin, that 'ud be a bad job," said 
a rustic on the road before him whom he 
had not yet seen. "What 'ud we do, thin, 
for bread?" 

The Stranger was called back from the 
■ vision of the sprites to the grim realities of 
life, 

"Ah!" he said, "Geea Guth!" 

u Dia is Muire dhuit, a dhuine ua- 
sail" replied the Rustic, and stopped. He 
thought it was not his business to proceed. 
The Stranger hesitated, too, for his store of 
Irish had already run out, and he waited for 
the Rustic to begin in English, for so the 
rustics usually did. Now, however, he was 
disappointed, for the man stood in silence 
by his side. The Stranger was somewhat 
disconcerted. 

"Ah!" he said, recovering himself at last, 
"Friend do you ever exult in the ethereal 
loneliness of this whispering waste in the dim- 
eyed dawn? The loneliness, y' know, the glim- 
mering hush of a blue loneliness?" 

"Well, thin, no, now, mind you," said the 
Rustic; then he thought of himself and re- 



116 



AN IRISH PARISH, 



gretted he had not said, "Yis, o' course, sir, 
now an' agin"; for the man was mad, he 
thought, and 'twere better agree with him. 

I must seek further," said the Stranger as 
if to himself. Then to the Rustic, "Go you 
to the village? If so, I should like to accom- 
pany you." 

"You may an' welcome, sir," replied the 
Rustic, and side by side they walked down the 
road. At last the Stranger suddenly clutched 
his companion's arm, and, pointing across 
the fields, cried. : 

"See where the hobgoblins of the Forest 
of Gloom disport themselves in celestial grey- 
ness! That was perhaps, the palace of their 
fathers. Here was their forest!! There a 
palace of stars with silvery pillars, towers, 
and 

"Is it the sheep-pen Padraig O'Ceallaigh 
made last March, ye name, sir?" said the 
Rustic, looking at what was shown him. 
Then he recollected the Stranger must be 
really mad, and was sorry he had not said. 
"His grandfather saw them in it;' ' but he was 
late now, and the Stranger groaned at the 
prosaic remark and pressed the matter no 
more. He concluded this was no true Celt, 
for if he were, he should be mystic and un- 
derstand the hidden meaning of the poetic 
words. He resolved to try his companion in 
another direction, and, gathering himself to- 
gether with an effort, attempted to descend 
to the Rustic's sphere: 



ITS SUNSHINE AND SHADOWS. 



117 



"Is the new revival making progress here, 
friend?" he asked. "It leads, y' know, to 
disclose the Celtic soul, its pathos and its 
mystery!!!" 

"What soart, sir?" said the Rustic, not a 
little bewildered. 

"The Language Movement. — It leads towards 
thought dreamland — mystery — shadows 

a — a The Language Movement, y' 

know?" And the stranger stopped. 

"Och! by dad, then, it is so!" said the Rus- 
tic. "I didn't know what ye meant a while 
ago, sir. But the Language is goin' ahead 
finely here, so it is. Short since an' I thought 
'twas lost altogether — that is if I thought at 
all of it. but " 

"He thinks — he thinks! Oh!! if he would 
only dream ! ! ! Dreamers we want. Dreamers 
of the wistful echoes and white-bearded war- 
gods of the withered ages of the world's 
childhood!" 

"Dramers, is it, sir?" said the Rustic sim- 
ply; "Father Patt said 'tis the workers we 
want." 

"Father Patt! Who is Father Patt?" asked 
the Stranger. 

"The curate, sir. The curate," said the 
Rustic, and then as if anxious to talk a piece 
of common sense, continued quickly: "'Tis 
eight year now since the right spirit was put 
into us first by a young man o' these parts, 
an' Father Patt kept it alive an' prosperin' 
till the Bishop changed him a fortnight ago — 



118 



AN IRISH PARISH, 



"A young man who came from the Cave 
of Knowledge with the East wind " 

"No! thin, he did not," corrected the Rustic 
"He was a son of Brian O'Ciarain, over 
from Tubber-na-mban, an' a fine boy he was, 
God bless him!" 

"Ah! proceed, friend," said the Stranger 
disappointedly* 

"Art O'Ciarain was a grand boy, sir. You'd 
see him o' a fine summer morning, walkin' 
be the river side an' a book under his arm, an' 
one or two distributed in each o' his pockets, 
an' there's no knowin' what compliment o' 
books he carried about him. He read, an' 
read, an' read! Oh! he was full o' learnin', an' 
sure maybe that was the reason himself an' 
Father Patt were such great friends, for 'tis 
many a fine evenin' I saw thim argufyin' 
an' gesticulatin' over the road beyond the 
chapel till, God forgi' me for sayin' it, I 
used to think the priest 'ud fall to beatin' 
him! Sure 'tis only a discussion they'd have, 
an' they'd come back the best o' friends, an' 
jokin' together. Och! they were the grand 
pair, an' I used to delight in thinkin' o' thim 
and wishin' there were many like thim." 

"Ah!" interjected the Stranger "he, thinks 
he wishes, and will dream. He peers into 
the shadows of the dim past. He is wistful 
towards the dubious future! Go on, friend, 
pray proceed!" And the Stranger was glad. 
The poor Rustic drew a deep breath, — some- 
thing akin to a sigh, and "proceeded:" 



ITS SUNSHINE AND SHADOWS. 



119 



"Well, one day young Art come up to my- 
self an' says he in Irish, — he was great at 
Irish, 'book-Irish' an* every soart. — 'Seumas,' 
says he, 'isn't it a great pity that there's no 
right spirit in the boys o' the parish? I was 
thinkin' along time o' it,' says he, 'an' knew 
if only we could get a hand from the priests, 
we'd do wonders. The poor P.P. is too 
ould to do anything but sympathize — an' 
he'll do that an' welcome, — but the Curate! — 
He talked o' bread-an' butter, an' shop- 
keepin' an' book-keepin' an' geography an' 
emigration, an' theory, an' practice, but,' 
says Art, 1 at the end o' five strong weeks o' 
argifycation, I bet him, an' now he wants to 
meet the hurlers to-night at the school-house. 
Be there yourself Seumas,' says he, 'an' tell 
all the boys you can, 'an' off with him one 
way to tell more, an' I rambled over to Cnoc- 
naleasa to spread the news. 

"That night we all come to the school, an' 
up gets the Curate an' makes a thunderin' 
fine speech. 'We must be Irish,' says he, 
'Irish or nothing.' He said he was makin' 
a mistake all his life, an' 'twas only the other 
day young Art O'Ciarain made him see the er- 
ror o' his ways. 'I see it now,' says the Cura- 
te, ' an' if I can, I'll say a few words o' Irish 
next Sunday, an' I give you my word to start 
at once learnin' the ould language o' the grand 
saints an' warriors o' ould ' " 

"Ay! Ay! and the chain-mailed war-gods!" 
said the Stranger, unable to restrain himself. 



120 



AN IRISH PARISH, 



"Father Patt made no mention o' thim, 
sir!" said the Rustic, and in his enthusiasm 
continued. " After that young Art got up 
and made a speech, an' we gave him a mighty 
cheer, for well we knew he was at the root of 
it all. Most o' us didn't expect any good 'ud 
come o' the whole thing, but all the same we 
all came an' whin we heard Father Patt, an' 
saw Art O'Ciarain's smilin' face an' bright 
eyes " 

' 'Yes, mysterious eyes ! Eyes of dreams and 
visions of hope. Proceed !" 

"Whin we heard an' saw what was goin' 
on our hearts were touched an' our spirits 
woke up, an' we cheered an' cheered again. 
Young Art spoke to us in English. 'Friends/ 
says he, 'are ye English or Irish? If ye're 
English, in the name o' God give up callin' 
yourselves Irish; an' if ye're Irish, begin to 
be really Irish, an' begin now. Here now/ 
says he, Til ask ye to take a sort o' a pledge 
to speak nothing but Irish on the hurlin' 
field for the future! Don't be praising or 
blamin' your fellow hurlers in a foreign lan- 
guage," says he, "but do it in the old tongue 
o' your own land, an' begin after Mass next 
Sunday,' We all shouted we would — ex- 
cept ould Liam Connors, an' he's hard o' 
hearin', the crature, an' did'nt know half 
all that was goin' on — besides he's 75 or so! 
The followin' Sunday we began; an' if you 
were to hear the hurlers forgettin' themselves 
an' shoutin' 'Dash — um fear a Mike!' 



ITS SUNSHINE AND SHADOWS. 121 



Good man go deo thu, aDick!' But after a 
couple o' Sundays we got into the Irish, an' 
what's more, we stuck to it, too. !" 

The Stranger seemed not to follow the 
story. He was looking "towards where the 
golden chariot glided among the whispering 
cloudlets.' ' The Rustic did not notice the 
abstractedness of the other, but continued: 

"Well, after a whileen, we had a little class, 
an' learned to read an' write Irish, an' we 
had singin' an' dancin', an' so on. But if 
you knew how Art would work us up — put- 
tin' townland against townland. "Dunard 
leads this week! "he'd say; "Stir up, Cnocban!" 
an' sure enough Cnocban would stir up an' 
lead the followin' week. Thats' how he got 
us on, an' whin he left us to go back to college, 
for he was a collegian, you know, sir — we 
kept on ourselves and Father Patt along with 
us. He made fine headway with the Irish, 
an' he kept the spirit alive in us, too — an,' 
troth many of us wanted that, for there were 
staigini here as well as every where else. 

"Sure whin young Art come back, his 
heart was glad to see us all houldin' on so well 
at the language, an' Father Patt preachin' 
sermons that 'ud convert the divil himself 
if hecould understand thim— which he couldn't. 
'Seumas,' says Art one day to me, 'coming 
back among ye is like comin' into the fresh 
air out o' a coal-mine.' 'Irish mustn't be 
prosperin' everywhere as it is here, Art? says 
I, with a wink. 'I suppose it isn't,' says he, 



122 



AN IRISH PARISH, 



'but that needn't trouble us; we must go on/ 
says he, 'an' I have a new plan to try with ye 
this time.' He did try it, an' it was a great 
thing! Every Sunday evenin' after Benedic- 
tion, we'd all gather in the school, an' Father 
Patt 'ud take the chair, an' thin there 'ud 
be a debate on some homely question that 
everyone knew something about. One time 
'twould be 'Seed-potatoes,' another, 'The 
Tax on Tobaccy,' an' the like. After a 
whileen the ould women itself began comin' 
in, an' thin once they'd begin to talk, he'd 
be a great man entirely that ud get a word in. 
One night the tay question was on, an' the 
women kept the floor the whole time. Poor 
Father Patt gave up all hope o' stoppin' 
thim, an' at last unbeknown stole away home 
an' left thim there bargin' away to their 
heart's contint. But faix, he made provision 
to prevent the like happenin' again. 

' 'Things wint on be degrees. We began to 
see things for ourselves an' to talk about 
what 'ud benefit us. There was that ould 
mill you saw awhile ago, sir; it was idle for 
nigh on sixty years. Well, a few o' the far- 
mers and the priests joined together, an' 
there it is grindin' away, an' givin' employ- 
ment to six or eight min the year round. 
Ay, faix, we're goin' on nicely now, an' we're 
only in the beginnin' o' it. — I'm goin' over 
this boithrin, sir, so we must be partin.' I'm 
sure you're tired o' my ramblin' talk, but I 
can't help talkin' whinever I think o' Art. I 



ITS SUNSHINE AND SHADOWS. 



123 



didn't talk so much English since I was at 
Ennis fair last March! Look, sir! Do you 
see the chapel yard our this?" asked the Rustic. 

"Clearly, quite clearly !" said the Stranger. 

"Do you see the tall priest, walkin' up an' 
down readin' his office ?" 

"I do. Yes, I see him, a young man," 
said the Stranger. 

"Weil, sir," said the Rustic with convic- 
tion, "that's the best priest in Ireland! It 
will do you good to go down an' have a talk 
with Father Art O'Ciarain, our new Curate 
in place o' Father Patt!" 

"God bless him!" said the Stranger. 

"An' sind us more like him!" said the Rus- 
tic. 

And so they parted, and the Rustic thought 
the stranger was a very queerjnan, but that 
there was hope for him. 

"There's no Fr. Art 'Anything' in our 
diocese," said I to Fr. O'Hara. 

"Can't I call m " I had caught him. 

He blushed to the roots of his hair for he 
had given himself away. * 

"The whole thing is imaginary" he added 
trying to save himself. 



"ANOTHER CHAT." 



RATHER peculiar fellows they did 
got on the District Council last year," 
I remarked. "I didn't take particular 
notice of it till lately." 

"Some of them," was the laconic reply of 
Fr. O'Hara. 

"Well I know a good many and honestly 
I don't see how any decent man could have 
given one of them a vote." 

"I don't think it's likely to occur again. 
It all resulted from a joke of some of the boys 
here, — a thoughtless joke it was too, but 
unfortunately for the Electoral Divisions of 
the Cathermore Union, the boys in other 
places followed suit. Still there are enough 
of good men on the board to prevent much 
damage being done. By the way don't 
blame the voters; they are not responsible 
as there was no contest, at least — here." 
"Then there should be a contest!" said L 
"You must ask Ned Sheehan about that." 
and he laughed. 
"I won't bother." 

"Why do you bother then by asking me?" 
he vsaid. "But that's Irish all over no pains 
taken to obtain anything, even information, — 
I should have excepted jobs, for 'pon my word 
there's some trouble and something else taken 
there." 

"What on earth do you mean?" 



126 



AN IRISH PARISH, 



"I alluded merely to an imported custom 
— Yes I think 'twas Lord Castlereagh im- 
ported it in 1800 or 1801." 

"I see now what you're driving at. Well 
thank God it is not very common in Ireland.' 9 

"I know of it in only one or two places, but 
they will give a bad name to the whole. 
That ought not be allowed you know." 

"And then from the one or two places the 
custom may grow." 

"Even if it does not," said Fr. Q'Hara, 
"to use a pet phrase of mine one or two is 
one or two too many. If respectable men, 
I don't mean 'respectable' to denote the 
family tree business, but men of character 
and courage, be elected that curse, as evil, 
I should say, as intemperance, would be for 
ever weeded out because it is not of native 
growth. I do not mean that poor farmers 
or tradesmen should not be elected. A poor 
man who is worthy has as much right to ex- 
pect election as his rich neighbours, and more 
than a landlord, rich or poor. — Now I want 
to tell you something," and he came close to 
me. "I feel I am acquiring a lot of grit and 
go, — you'll call it conceit, I suppose, — 
since I saw a couple of these efforts I gave you 
in a magazine. I don't know how many 
were rejected as you never told me anything 
about them either way, and I'm not going 
to inquire; but just now I will venture one 
that will, I dare to hope, do good, if read in 
the spirit in which it is written, or bring 



ITS SUNSHINE AND SHADOWS. 127 



a storm about my anonymous head if my 
intentions are wrongly construed. 

You understand our selection of Councillor 
here was a farce. Well I want to call special 
attention to its result, though it is commonly 
known it is not fully realized and, at the risk 
of being accused of stage-Irishmanism — an 
"ism" that I heartily abominate — I ask you 
to do with this account of our election and 
its result as you have done with the others/ ' 

"By the way I have a little surprise for you," 
I said, "you need not worry about the expense 
of your next change of residence". 

He smiled and his eyes brightened that his 
stories besides doing good were considered by 
editors to have a monetary value. 

"Is that so! well I'm very glad, not do much 
on account of the money itself, but the sa- 
tisfaction of knowing someone set value on 
the 'glimpses/ Tis too bad, though," he 
said "with a laugh that it should be spent on 
furniture breaking." 



"AN TURTY CARICATURES THEY 
ARE, IN TROTH."* 



"TI^OR you at second Mass to-day, 

W Murty?" It was Ned Sheehan 
that spoke to our old friend. Ned was "a 
man with a grievance ;" he always had some- 
thing or other to complain of. 

"No, thin, I wasn't," replied Murty. "I 
wint to firsht Mass, as hersel' wanted to see 
some o' the Larkins o' Tubbercloran, and 
wint to second. Why d'ye ax.?" 

"Because this counthry is goin' to the 
dickens, Murty, and you may take my word 
for that!" 

"If it isn't gone there already, Ned, as I 
often tould ye," said Murty. 

"God save ye both!" and Matt Reardon 
came up to where the two were talking. 

"God save ye kindly, Matt!" said Murty 
and Ned almost in the same breath. 

"What'll we do wut the crops this year at 
all, I dunno? The weather is rotten bad, so 
it is, glory be to God!" and Matt looked at 
the leaden skies. 

"Bedad! 'tis as bad for wan as another, 
Matt," replied Murty, "an' we musht be 
satisfied till God sends us betther." 

"Tell me, Matt," interrupted Ned, "wor 
you at second mass to-day?' ' 

"Why d'ye ax me that, Ned?" 

"But wor ye?" repeated Ned. 




*Bj kind permission of Ed. "Irish Rosary.' 



130 



AN IRISH PARISH, 



"Tis at Kilcronan I was. But why d'ye 
ax?" 

"Faix! he axed me the same question," 
said Murty, "an' I didn't hear of anything, 
a-nayther. To be sure, I saw a notice on 
the gate goin' in o' me, but, to tell the truth, 
I didn't take the throuble to read it." 

"Well," said Ned, with a long-drawn sigh, 
"I'm despairin' o' me counthry intirely! I 
read that notice, an' waited afther Mass to 
see the represintation o' me district given to 
an ould non-inity o' a crature that hasn't as 
much learnin' as ud write his name, nor two 
dacint feet to put undher him!" 

"Muiseadh, who's the purty caricature' you're 
describin," asked Murty, with a grin. He 
well knew Ned's weakness for grievances, 
and that he was never so miserably happy, to 
use an apparent paradox, as when he was 
recounting one. 

"Divil o' the likes o' it ever ye heard in 
all yer born days! You saw the notice on 
the chapel gate, Murty? Well, that was an 
inwitation to all an' sundry that afther Mass 
they'd select a District Councillor for Cloch- 
fada, in your place, Matt — for Jamesey 
Gagan, that was co-opted afther you, an' 
was elected last year, wouldn't hould the 
position agin for love or money. They wor 
goin' round to this wan an' that wan to go 
on, but nobody was willin'. Your own name, 
Matt, was mentioned agin an' agin, but I 
told thim 'twas no use, as I knew yer sinti- 



ITS SUNSHINE AND SHADOWS. 131 



mints. Thin Billy Graley's son come over to 
me — the lad that got the land the time o' 
'the diyidin.'" 

""Tis as well for yoursel' to take it, Ned, M 
says he. 

"'No!' says I. 'I have more since/ says I M 

"That was a quare thing to say, whin you 
look into it," remarked Murty. 

"Shtop now, Murty, wan minit," said Ned, 
and continued: — 

'"Arrah! do!/ says Billy's son, in a coaxin' 
way, 'you'd be a great man in it. Go an in/ ' 
says he. 

"'I won't, I tell ye,' says I, 'an' there's 
the ind of it!' 

'"Ah! do,' says he, an' a grin on one side 
o' his face, 'you'd have a great chance to vint 
all your grievances in the Boordroom,' and 
away wud him before I could give him a 
sweet answer. Bedad! 'tis a quare thing 
that these young hayros ud come up to any 
dacint man an' give him ould guff like that! 
'Twouldn't be taken from us whin we wor 
youngsthers." 

"But who tuk it?" asked Matt, interest- 
edly. He meant of course, the "represen- 
tation." 

"Who tuk it, is it? Hould an till ye hear! 
Over wut me boyo, Billy's son, an' wint 
laughin' and whisperin' wut a lot o' the 
Lisheen lads, that got land, too, and before 
thesinsible min could say 'Yis/ 'Aye,' or 
'No,' up wut him to SeumaisinHooley, that 



132 



AN IRISH PARISH, 



lame cripple o' a tailor from Gurteenban, 
and gives him a slap on the back. 

"' Here's the man/ adeir se y 'to repre- 
sint Clochfada disthrict, an' I propose we 
put him in wut all the honours o' war/ 

"'I second that! 1 says that geancach son 
o' Larry Hushian's. 

'"Huroo, Huroo!' says them all, an' up they 
put the tailor on their shoulders, and out 
with him on the road, an' carried him half 
a mile down, shoutin' and laughin' all the 
time. He losht the camog, an' how he got 
home without the shtick bates me! Och! 
the country is goin' to the dickens — if it 
isn't gone there already, as you say, Murty!" 

"Well! that bates all I ever heard or seen 
before or since, so it does!" said Matt, most 
emphatically. 

"Arrah, sure! an' what differ does it make 
who they put in?" said Murty. 

"Hah! maybe you'd know that, Murty, 
when that red spriosan from Derraban comes 
wut his 'God-save-all-here' to gather the 
rates," said Ned. 

"Thrue for ye, so it is!" said Matt. 

"Well, now, my way of lookin' at the thing 
is this," exclaimed Murty. "There's only 
a few honesht, intelligint min takin' any in- 
terests in this business, so the besht thing to 
to is to let thim put in lads like Hooley, an' 
whin the counthry sees a whole 'Boordroom of 
these purty caricatures' managin' the affairs 
o' the world, 'twill wake up and do the right 



ITS SUNSHINE AND SHADOWS. 133 



thing! An' purty caricatures they are, in 
troth!" 

"But tell mejthis !" said Matt. "Why didn't 
ye put in a good man when the young lads 
wor gone?" 

"Arrah, Matt, a stoir !! Have a bit o' com- 
mon sinse! Do ye think any self-respectin' 
individual ud put up his name agin an igno- 
rant, lame ceolan like Seumaisin Hooley? A 
man that wint searchin' the parish for a sheep 
because he wasn't able to count up to tin, 
Three an' three is six — an' four is nine/ 'deir 
se, Van short,' and off wut him — hop- 
an'-go-wan with his lame step — lookin' for 
a sheep that was safe an' sound wut the rest 
in his own field! I tell you," and this was 
very emphatic, "the rates '11 be hot an' heavy 
if the likes o' him has the tottin' up o' thim. 
Contest, indeed! an' have the expense o' an 
election. Besides these young lads have 
votes, and ud put in Seumaisin just for the 
divilmint o' the thing." 

"Well, as I said before, that bates all I 
ever heard or seen," said Matt. 

"It does so" said Murty, "but sure what's 
the differ?" 

Ned looked at him. 

"Well there, let thim, if that's all you care," 
said he. 

"Och!! Muiseadh there let thim," said 
Murty. 

"Good evenin' to you, said Ned. 
******* 

The selection of Seumaisin Hooley, by Cloch. 



134 



AN IRISH PARISH, 



fada, was lamented by the older people, but 
to others it was a source of much amusement. 
The worst of it was that some of "the lads 
that got land' 7 in other places, not to be beaten 
by Glochfada, looked out for other - 'carica- 
tures/ 9 as Murty called them, and selected 
them, "just for the fun of it." They never 
thought of the serious side of the business 
at all, but judging the work of the boardroom 
by the reports in the Ballyoran Watchman 
forgot the expenditure of money involved, 
that these "purty caricatures" were the 
guardians of the poor and the protectors of 
the health of the Union, if only they concien- 
tiously enforced the sanitary laws, 

The young men acted thoughtlessly, and 
as a result, many of the type of Seumaisin 
Hooley found themselves members of the 
Cathermore District Council. 

At the first meeting of the "Boord" a 
scene of the wildest disorder was witnessed. 
The 'sensible min," who had come there to 
honestly look to the interests of the people, 
found themselves hampered on every side 
by the "purty caricatures". 

The first business that occupied the atten- 
tion of the "Boord"was the election of the 
Chairman, who also would be a "J. P." ex 
officio. 

Mr. Charley O'Connor, a very well-to-do 
intelligent farmer, and a thoroughly upright 
man, was duly proposed and seconded. No 
opposition was expected by his supporters, 



ITS SUNSHINE AND SHADOWS. 



135 



but they counted without the 1 'caricatures/' 
These had a grievance. Around O'Connor 
hung the odour of landlordism, for was not 
his father manager to Landley, who had not 
yet agreed "to sell to the Commissioners?" 
That was, enough for the new councillors — 
O'Connor was a landlord's man, and "a 
tinants' man should have his chance now,' 
and so they elected Thady Casey, of Kil- 
cronan, whose character is summed up in his 
own famous phrase: 

"I want no new-fangled idayes walloped in 
here on top o' us, for whin there wasn't half 
the knowledge, nor half the dochtors in the 
counthry, there wasn't half the disaises nor 
technicology nor bother in it that's goin' now !" 

Thady belonged to the "what-was-good 
enough-f or-me-f ather-is-good-enough-f or- me ' ' 
type, and now here he was — Chairman of the 
District Council, and a magistrate "wut a 
place on the Binch beside the besht o' thim." 

Soon the business of the Council got into 
full swing. The "purty caricatures" (the 
nickname had now become well known) did 
not at first "know the ropes" well enough, 
and the old councillors did things in the good 
old stereotyped fashion. "The state o' the 
house," "Refractory inmates," "The Master's 
report," "Complaints of the staff,' "Leaves 
of absence," with a few "strong russulutions" 
thrown in here and there, were the general 
run of work. 

There was stir on "tindher day." Canvass- 



136 



AN IRISH PARISH, 



ing by those wanting contracts had taken 
place, and it was surprising what a full and 
interested muster of councillors there was. 

" Isn't it specified in the advertisement/ ' 
asked Peter Flynn, "that as far as possible 
Irish manufacture only must be supplied. 

"Yes, it was so stated," said the clerk. 
"Hould an there now, " Seumaisin Hooley put 
in. "D'ye keep down the rates at all coshts, 
an' take the chapest?" 

"That's the chat," said Tommy Haley. 

"Excuse me, gentlemen," said Charley 
O'Connor, "taking Irish manufacture doesn't 
mean raising the rates. It means in nine 
cases out of ten you're getting better value 
— sometimes, perhaps, at a trifle more, than 
the foreign article, but still cheaper because 
better, and, therefore, I say, that instead of 
raising the rates, you are really saving 
money in the long run." 

Such reasoning was lost on the "caricatures;" 
so it happened that material of foreign make 
was in great part accepted by the council, 
while on their books, proposed, seconded, and 
passed unanimously, stood a resolution pledg- 
ing them to support, where possible, Irish 
manufacture, — an inconsistency in theory 
and practice that was a standing disgrace to 
the majority of that board. They felt no 
meaner for it, nor did their constituents bring 
them to task for it. It is to be feared that 
Cathermore is not the only place where 
such inconsistencies exist, and more's the 
pity of it! * * * * * 



ITS SUNSHINE AND SHADOWS, 



137 



One Saturday towards the end of September 
the Council met. 'The Caricatures" were 
well into their work by this time, and further- 
more were disputing every progressive step, 
for themselves and their view-point were old- 
world. At the beginning of business the clerk 
announced : — 

"I have received a resolution, Mr. Chairman 
and Gentlemen, which was adopted at a 
meeting of the medical men of the county, 
and they ask you to adopt it also, in the in- 
terests of the health of the community." 

"What soart o' lads made up that resolu- 
tion ?" asked Seumaisin Hooley, D.C. 

"It was adopted at a meeting of the doctors 
of the county." explained the clerk. 

"Don't mind it," said Seumaisin, "thim 
dochthors are only throwin' dusht in our eyes 
invintin' new idayes an' new disaises every 
other day, an' puttin' the people 'through an' 
thro" with bother an' expinse, an' that 's all. 
Throw it aside, d'ye. ! ' ' 

"That's the chat!" said Tommy Haley. 
"Mr. Hooley is right, an' we shouldn't heed 
the likes at all, at all." 

"Well, we might have it read at any rate," 
suggested Charley O'Connor, "and if it is 
worth adopting, by all means do so." 

"Hear, hear," from some. 

"Let the clerk read it thin and be quick," 
said the chairman, "but there's no sinse in it, 
I'm sure. 'Tis a washte o' time, for I have 
a ressulution here mesel' callin' on the Chief 



138 



AN IRISH PARISH, 



Saycretary to give us Home Rule, an' 'twill 
have a more far reachin' effect than this 
wan." To the Clerk: — "Go and wut it, 
Mr. Hagerty." 

'" Proposed by Dr. Moylan, seconded by 
Dr. Mac Sharry, and unaminoulsy adopted/ 
read the clerk. 'That this meeting is strong- 
ly of opinion that one of the first steps to- 
wards the prevention of consumption and other 
diseases is the proper attention to the 
sanitary laws in regard to the dwellings and 
premises throughout the country; and we 
most respectfully ask the various District 
Councils to enforce the law in the case of 
any house or premises brought under their 
notice as being unfit for habitation/ That's 
the resolution, gentlemen, and they desire 
you to bind yourselves to enforce the sanitary 
laws in your district/ 1 

"Mark that read!! 11 said the Chairman. 

"I beg your pardon, Mr. Chairman/ 7 said 
Dr. MacSharry, one of the Medical Officers 
of the Union, who was present. "That I 
believe to be a most important " 

"Look here, Dochthor," said the chairman 
"isn't yersel' the sanitary inspector?" 
|$ "Indeed no, I am the sanitary officer. 
The relieving Officer is the sanitary inspector. 
He reports to me, I to you, and then you en- 
force the law." 

"No matther/' said the chairman, "we'll 
mark that read! 11 

"One moment, Mr. Chairman," said the 



ITS SUNSHINE AND SHADOWS, 139 



doctor, "the resolution is to safeguard the 
people themselves, and is a most progressive 
step towards " 

"What authority have you to spake here 
for or agin any russulution, I say?" questioned 
Mr. Hooley. 

"That's the chat!" blurted Tommy Haley. 

"We'll manage this matther ourselves, 
Dochther, don't be afeard," said the chair- 
man. "The proper thing is to mark it read. 
Mark that read! Mr. Hagerty." 

"Well now, pardon me, Mr. Chairman," 
Charley O'Connor spoke seriously and with 
determination. "No one can question my 
right to speak here, and we cannot let this 
matter pass so easily as you and some of 
your friends imagine. I favour the opinion 
of Dr. MacSharry, that this resolution is an 
important one, and I believe a step towards 
the solution of a very difficult problem, and 
so I have great pleasure in proposing its 
adoption by the council." (Hear, hear). 

"I'm a plain counthry man," said Phil 
Ryan, a progressive farmer, "an' as I see the 
need o' something in the line o' that resolu- 
tion I second Mr. O'Connor." ("Hear, hear, 
from a few.) 

On a division the resolution was defeated 
by fifteen votes to eleven, Seumaisin Hooley 
leading the opposition. When the result was 
declared and when the applause (!) that 
greeted it had died away, Mr. O'Connor re- 
marked : — 



140 



AN IRISH PARISH, 



"It makes little matter, anyhow, as it 
would be a dead letter with ye. Ye would 
not have backbone enough to enforce it!" 

"Ordher there, you musht withdraw thim 
words !" said the chairman. 

4 'That's the " was on the lips of Tommy 

Haley when Mr. O'Connor remarked: 

"I cannot withdraw the truth !" and then 
left the boardroom. Most of the other ten 
that had voted for the resolution followed, 
as well as the three medical officers who were 
present. 

"Consumption, and typhus, and thypoid 
will cut out all the Irish speakers," remarked 
the young enthusiast, Dr. Brennan, when they 
were outside. "Irish will be killed outright, 
and all through putting amadhauns on the 
Council! Go sabhalaidh Dia an tir seol 11 With- 
out another word he went away, sad and dis- 
appointed, for till then he had some hope for 
his country. 

Dr. MacSharry and Dr. Moylan were en- 
gaged in earnest conversation for a time. 
When they parted one could see in MacSharry 
set face that some course of action had been 
determined upon. 

It was so, for next board day the house of 
no less a personage than Seumaisin Hooley, 
"Esquire, " D.C., was reported as unfit for 
human habitation! Dr. MacSharry's evidence 
was so strong that the Council, much against 
its will, had to call on Seumaisin, who, by the 
way was not present, to correct the nuisance, 



ITS SUNSHINE AND SHADOWS. 141 



otherwise he would be proceeded against. 
The Doctor was surprised at his success. 
He would now proceed in like manner with 
the other opponents of the resolution who 
happened to live in his district and whose 
premises were in bad order. Dr. Moylan 
would also do his part. Between them they 
had agreed to that, and MacSharry had 
volunteered to begin, as he had no fear for his 
popularity. He was an openhearted, kindly, 
honest man, attentive to rich and poor alike 
— (the others were straightforward, indeed, too 
but, possibly, were not so kindly). The 
people knew well his worth, and in their 
own way showed their appreciation. They 
were already tiring of the "purty caricature' ' 
class of councillor, and the Doctor knew it. 
He would have public opinion on his side, 
anyway, against Hooley, even though some 
of his backers well knew their own turns 
must soon come. 

But his success was short lived. Seumaisin 
settled the matter nicely for himself . He can- 
vassed mightily among his friends on the 
Council, and next board-day they thronged 
in and solemnly rescinded the work of the 
preceeding week, and exonorated Hooley 
from all further responsibility. 

Dr. MacSharry must have felt grievously 
insulted at some of the things that were said 
at the meeting, but knowing the true value 
of the speakers, that the intelligent men were 
with him, and that possibly the eyes of the 



142 



AN IRISH PARISH, 



people would be opened by this glaring 
abuse of power, he resolved to take no notice 
but let the matter drop, for the present at 
least. 

$ $ $ $ $ 3; $ 

u Muiseadh\ Mr. Glynn, an' is that yersel'?" 

""Tis so, Mrs. Carney, an' how are you? 
Did the dochthor come yet?" 

Mrs. Carney was caretaker of Brandara 
Dispensary, as it was situated in a room of 
her house. 

"I'm very well, thank you, considerin' sir 
an' he didn't come yet, but he won't be long 
now. Come in an' have a hate o' the fire 
while you're waitin'. There's ne'er a wan 
'ithin but young Mr. Hilliard. Come an in!" 

"God save all here!" said Murty, as he 
entered. 

"God save you, Murty!" said Dick, ris- 
ing to meet his best friend. "I hope there's 
nothing the matter with you?" 

"Not a bit, thanks be to God! but little 
Ellen has a sore throat, an' we thought 'twas 
stayin' with her too long, so I rambled up to 
ax the dochtor to come down the house. Is 
there anything the matter with yourself, 
Dick? Bedad, you're lookin' well, what- 
ever." 

"Oh," laughed Dick, "I'm only coming to 
ask him down for a day's shooting next week. 
To-day is wet, you know, and there was 
nothing in paticular to be done at home." 



ITS SUNSHINE AND SHADOWS. 143 



"Fine times! Bedad, 'tis well for you," 
said Murty. 

"By the way, Murty, is it true that the 
doctor and Hooley, the tailor, had a row? 
Td like to know, as I want to humbug him 
about it." 

"Och, thin! the principal witness is the 
besht warrant to give an account o' it. Ax 
Mrs. Carney, there?' ' and Murty gave a 
hearty laugh. 

"Had they a row, Mrs Carney ?" 

"A row is it, Mr. Dick?" and she turned 
up the^whites of her eyes at the very thought 
of it. "Wait antil I tell ye. Well, now, the 
Dispensary day, afther Hooley and the Doch- 
thor (as nice a man as ye'd meet in a day's 
walk, the crature) had some words at the 
Boord, an' the same Hooley got lave from 
the Guardians to have his house as dirty as 
he plazed, in he comes here, pompous like, 
and he half tore, and he squares his elbows an' 
leaves his sthick on the table. 

'"Mrs. Carney?' says he, the same as if 
he never laid eyes an me before. 

'The same,' says I. 

'I come in here,' says he wut a roar, 'as 
a Disthrict Councillor.' 

'No matter what y'are,' says I, 'don't be 
makin' such nise, says I, 'for the Dochthor 
is leshenin' to Mike Delaney's lungs wut his 
telescope,' says I, 'an' don't want no nise, 
not as much as the buzzin' o' a fly,' says I. 



144 



AN IRISH PARISH, 



'You an' the Dochthor may go be hanged !' 
says he. 

'Hould that row there!' says the Doch- 
thor, from the room beyant. 

'Tarnation from his soul!' says Hooley, 
'does he tell me, a Disthrict Councillor, to 
hould that row?' 

'He do,' says I, 'he do, Hooley,' says I, 
'an' what's more, he'll make ye do his 
biddin', says I. 'Be this an' be that,' says I, 
'he'll come out to ye, if ye don't whisht 
aisy!' 

'Do ye know who ye'r spakin' to, ma'am?' 
says he. 'I'll have none o' yer impidince. 
I'll get the dispinsary our this! Gi' me none 
o' yer chat!' says he. 

'Idar'ye,' says I. 'I'll get Father Dinnis 
on yer thrack, me boy, an' he'll take none o' 
your chat,' says I. 

"Arrah! he lets wan screech out o' him 
and takes his camog an' bates a welt on the 
dispinsary doore, an' fires it open. Oral if 
ye saw the eye the dochthor gives at him." 
And she turned up her eyes again and put 
her hands together. 

'What's this for?' says the Dochtor. 

'That's what 'tis for!' says Hooley. 'I 
come in here,' says he, 'to see that you're 
attindin' to yer jooty an' mindin' yer business, 
says he. 'I'm a Councillor,' says he, 'an' ye'r 
only a Dochthor!' 

'Get out!' says the Dochthor, threatenin' 
like. 



ITS SUNSHINE AND SHADOWS. 



145 



'Get on wut yer work now!' says Hooley, 
'an' I'll see that ye do it proper!' Up he 
goes o' wan jump on the table and flung 
everything, the pock, an* the tooth-pinchers, 
an' the poundher, an' I don't know what 
else, o' wan 'rooloobaloo' on the floore. The 
Dochthor changed colour and drew his breath 
an' thin he says quietly: — 

'Very well, me man. Til lave ye there 
an' we'll seeV an' the poor man was goin' to 
walk out. 

'What about me, Dochthor?' says poor, 
sick Mike Delaney. 

'Can't help it,' says the Dochthor; 'you 
must come up to the house to me.' 

'Oral Dochthor, a mhuirnin, 1 says I, 'I'll 
go for the peelers!' 

'No!' says he, ' Mrs. Carney, I'll settle 
this hayro. I could put him out if I liked,' 
says he. 

'Could ye'? says the ould, lame cripple 
o' a tailor, an' he shakes his fisht in the Doch- 
thor's face an' gives him a kick o' his lame fut 
in the shin. Wut that, the Dochthor cot 
him by the cape o' the jacket. 

' If ye wor a dacint lookin' article itself,' 
says he, ' I'd have wan satisfactory box at 
ye; but there,' says he, 'out ye'll go now!' an' 
he lifts him up an' gives a shake or two, an' 
thin carries him, scramin,' to the door an' 
gives him wan pitch into the middle o' the 
street. 

'Be off!' says he. 



146 



AN IRISH PARISH, 



'Glory, sir!' says I, and thin the Doch- 
thor wint back to Mike Delaney, wut a 
smile on him; but sure the tailor wint squarin' 
on the street abroad, an' he offerin' him out 
to fight. 

'There,' says I, 'if ye haven't enough?', 
an' I flung the ould camog he left after 
him, an' hot him across the two knees wut 
it. 

'Take that,' says I, 'an' go home!' 

"Och! thin he wint frantic mad intirely, 
an' who should be comin' up the road but 
Sergeant Henaghan, an' there an' thin up to 
the sergeant's nose, I 'timidated Hooley,an' 
sure only the Dochthor ran out, Hooley'd be 
marched off to the 'lock-up.' 

'Don't mind him Sergeant,' says he, 'I 
have a crow to pluck with this lad yet, and 
he'll have enough o' it whin he's done wut 
me!' 

'Very well, Dochthor,' says the Sergeant, 
an' he gives Hooley a push. 'Go home 
quiet now,' says he, 'or 'twill be worse for ye!' 

'An' faix! I tell ye, Hooley did." 

"That's simply awful," said Dick, "and 
w hat makes fellows like that so anxious to 
get elected?" 

"Ah, thin," said Murty, with a wink, 
"you're young, but you'll learn!" 

'Arrah, Mr. Dick! have sinse! Sure an' 
maybe 'tis well worth their while to get in," 
and Mrs. Carney gave a wise shake of her 
head. She had in her words and gesture ex- 



DR. MACSHARRY EXAMINED HIS MOTIVES IN THE MATTER 



ITS SUNSHINE AND SHADOWS. 147 



plained the anxiety of some people to get 
elected on the Councils. 
Just then the doctor came. 

War was declared. Dr. MacSharry had 
made up his mind to act. He had before- 
hand examined his motives in the matter: 
"Was it vindictiveness, or really a desire to 
do good that urged him to take extreme mea- 
sures against Seumaisin Hooley?" he asked 
himself again and again. At last he decided 
that since the country must be saved from 
the ravages of disease, and since the District 
Council had shirked its duty in regard to 
sanitary laws, extreme measures should be 
taken; and it was most fitting that the first 
object of his attack should be the chief op- 
ponent of progress, whose case would call 
public attention to itself, first, because he 
was a District Councillor himself, and second- 
ly, because he was the owner of the dirtiest 
house and premises in the rural district! So 
Seumaisin Hooley was indicted "wansht 
more," as himself said. 

The Council refusing to proceed against 
the aforesaid Seumaisin Dr. MacSharry had 
recourse to other measures. 

He reported the case directly to the Local 
Government Board — (a foreign institution 
must protect us for our own sakes), — laying 
special emphasis on the Council's refusal to 
act, and immediately the District Inspector 



148 



AN IRISH PARISH, 



of Police was instructed to make another 
independent report; this he did through the 
local Sergeant of Constabulary, Henaghan, 
whom we already know. This was in turn 
sent to the Local Government Board, and on 
its being approved, it only remained for the 
police authorities to apply to the magistrates 
sitting in Petty Sessions for power to pro- 
secute, and the District Council could no 
longer interfere. By a majority of three to 
one — the one being the protesting Thady 
Casey, "Esquare," J. P., — who saw people 
"livin' in houses as bad if not worse, an' they 
wor alive. Mr. Hooley was an ould man 
enough, an", his worship thought, 'a shtanding* 
testimony that the state o' his house was 
not unhealthy, but, on the contrary, 
perducin' to health/ 1 ("Hear, hear," in 
court). And Mr. Thady Casey pursed his 
lips, leaned back in his chair, looked at the 
crowd in court, and thought within himself 
that everyone he saw before him be- 
lieved him to be what he was not (except 
in his own mind) a "foine fellow wut a lot 
o' foine common sinse in a level head!" 

He didn't much mind being in a minority of 
one, as he had succeeded in making himself 
conspicuous, in showing himself a "defindher 
o' the wake," and in a broad, abstract way 
making an ass of himself generally, (though 
this last point escaped his worship's notice.) 

'Twas vain, the case went against Seumaisin 
Hooley and he was ordered to rectify the 
causes of complaint before a month! 



ITS SUNSHINE AND SHADOWS. 149 



But Seumaisinlet the whole matter slip by # 
4 'Not a ha'porth o' heecTll I give thim, lads . 
The council '11 sthand be me, an' the share- 
man too, an' the resht may go fwhishlin' for 
all I care!" and the month went by. 
Seumaisin was a second time brought to court. 
Though the "shareman" was there, the case 
was not dismissed, but it was decided not to 
fine him, but give him one other month to 
"tidy up his place." 

Before the month was up the unfortunate 
Hooley, was stricken down with diphtheria. 
His wife, an old half-stupid woman, was able 
to give him but poor attendance, and the neigh- 
bours, though showing their charity and kind- 
ness in a very practical manner, yet did not 
care about going into the house at all and 
thereby spreading the disease far and wide. 
Dr. MacSharry was the medical attendant, 
as Seumaisin lived in his district, and, to his 
credit be it said, was even more kind and 
generous to his old foe than to ordinary pa- 
tients, just to prove he had not before acted 
vindictively. Yet he had to go one step 
further, and though he fully realised what 
Hooley's feelings would be, he ordered him 
removed to the Fever Hospital attached to 
the Cathermore Workhouse. 

******* 

How very different Hooley' s house was 
from the neat, lime washed, rose wreathed 
cottages about it? 



150 



AN IRISH PARISH, 



The air in the room was heavy, and little 
light succeeded in getting through the dust- 
dimmed panes of the small window that had 
not been opened, at least within the memory 
of the traditional ' 'oldest inhabitant.' ' The 
earthen floor was damp, a broken-legged 
table, leaned for support against the wall, 
which, was smoked yellow and disfigured 
with long dirty lines of diluted soot 
extending from an indescribable ceiling 
to the floor. The bed, to say the least of it, 
could not be comfortable, there was no wash- 
stand, no basin, no towel-rail; the only clean 
article in the room was the chair, covered 
with a borrowed clean cloth, on which the 
Blessed Sacrament and Holy Oils had rested 
a short time before. 

Father Dennis O'Dwyer did not wish to 
delay longer than necesssary in the sick room, 
yet did not like to leave until he had tried to 
persuade stubborn Seumas Hooley to sub- 
mit to the inevitable and avoid trouble by 
willingly obeying the doctor's orders. 

"How on earth," he wondered, "can he 
prefer this squalor to a place where he will 
be cleanly and properly taken care of? It 
surpasses me, anyway.' ' 

"Better take the doctor's advice, Seumas," 
he said "and go." 

"No, nor the divil a foot, beggin' yer rever- 
ince's pardon," replied Seumas weakly. 

"And why?" asked the priest. 

"That's the why," said Seumas, "and there 
it's now for you, sir." 



ITS SUNSHINE AND SHADOWS. 151 



"But what's the reason ?" repeated Father 
O'Dwyer. 

"A Hooley never died in the workhouse, 
Father," answered Seumas, "and, bedad, I 
won't be the first — an' — an' — an' — me a 
disthrict councillor, too. Arrah, have a bit 
o' sinse, Father." 

Argument with such a man was useless, so 
the law had to take its course and a Hooley 
was compelled, for the first time in history, 
to go to the workhouse — and, greatest hu- 
miliation of all, to go in the "Poorhouse Car" 
— the last vehicle an Irishman desires to 
travel in — with the possible exception of a 
hearse. 



"THE OLD PEW NEAR THE ALTAR." 



HE O'Kellys," Murty Glynn told 



A me, "wor as nice an' as dacint a 
family an* as good neighbours as ever lived 
in Clochfada. Full and plenty of everything 
they had, an' if they had itself, they had big 
hearts, an' never saw a neighbour in want. 
When hard times come an' left many's the 
one in poverty, the Kellys 'gave what they 
could spare, an' more, but they had the name 
o' great riches, an' no one thought, least of 
all thimselves, that one o' thim ud be depin- 
din' on charity. 

However the unexpected sometimes hap- 
pens, an' it did in this case. One year the 
murrain killed almost all their cattle, an' 
before they could right thimselves something 
happened the sheep till there wasn't a ha'- 
porth left on the land and thin in a couple o' 
years came the failure o' the crops an' be- 
tune one thing an' another, although the 
whole countryside lost in proportion, as much 
as thim, the O'Kellys wor as poor as the poor- 
est. One after another the boys an' girls wor 
forced to emigrate, till at last, out o' the seven 
children they reared, but one remained to 
thim, the youngest son, an' a delicate boy 
he was too . . . 

Year after year the number that sat in 
the family pew next the altar rail was comin' 
down, till instead o' the nine we used to see 




154 



AN IRISH PARISH, 



there wor only three; two of thim tooouldto 
begin to build their fortunes all over agin, an' 
one too sickly to take any great interest in 
work. 

Still an' all the rint was got together some- 
how, an' even yet the little they had was 
ginerously shared, though no one knew the 
struggle that was made to have that little. 
An' durin' all the years, down to the time I'm 
spakin' of, the Kellys drove to Mass every 
Sunday an' holiday, an' whin they wor poor 
an' reduced, an' whin one car could carry all 
that was left o' thim, they did the same thing, 
always arrivm' twinty minutes before the 
time to give 'herself a chance to 'do' the 
Stations o' the Cross, an* himself' 9 an oppor- 
tunity to have a talk with the people from the 
other side o' the parish, an 7 to let Jim — that 
was the son — put the horse up in Duffy's 
yard. 

John O' Kelly was the most respected man 
in the parish, an* he deserved it; he was one o' 
the few that wor hardly ever addressed by 
their Christian names but as 'Mr.' an' 'Sir', 
so you can know what notice we always took 
o' thim an' how everyone missed thim whin 
one Sunday, their pew was impty. 

"I felt very lonesome at Mass to-day, 
Murty," says ould Mrs. Flynn to me. "Nay- 
ther Mr. O'Kelly nor herself not the son 
wor in it, an', mind you, it had a great effect 
on me. I hope nothing sarious kept them at 
home?" 



ITS SUNSHINE AND SHADOWS. 155 



'Troth thin, I tell you, ma'am," says I, 
"that it must be something sarious for no 
small rayson ud keep John O' Kelly from 
Mass." 

An' it was something sarious. Jim, the 
only boy at home with thim, got a wettin' 
at the fair o' Ballyoran an' thin betune stand- 
in' about all day in the rain, an' neglectin' to 
change his clothes whin he come home, he 
felt in a bad way an' midday on Friday he 
had to take to his bed. Sunday mornin' the 
mother found him tossin' about in a fever an' 
he ravin'. Nayther o' thim could think o' 
lavin' the house, an' that was the first time 
I ever remimber o' their losin' Mass. They 
got the priest an' sent for the doctor so quiet- 
ly that no one of us knew a bit about their 
trouble — except the immediate neighbours. 

But sure soon we all knew it. The boy's 
health was always so poor that he never ral- 
lied an' on the followin' Friday we buried him 
in Killeira. May God rest his soul! 

The father and mother were very lonely. 
They were both far beyond middle age, an' 
misfortunes had put the wide ocean betune 
themselves an' six o' their children an' God 
had taken the seventh. Not one was left to 
look after or help thim. 

Still they struggled on somehow, but the 
strain was too great for one o' thim an' just 
two years afterwards John O'Kelly was a 
widower all alone in the big farm house once 
so full o' life an' fun, an' on Sunday he sat by 
himself in the old pew next the rails! 



156 



AN IRISH PARISH, 



Hundreds an* hundreds o' pounds had John 
himself paid in rint since he become owner an' 
sure 'tis in thousands what his forefathers 
paid before him must be counted: I suppose 
the amount o' money given to the landlord 
by the O'Kelly's ud have bought the place 
out over an' over agin ; yet because a lone ould 
man let a few year's arrears slip up an' be- 
cause a stranger from the next county offered 
a higher price than he used to pay, 0' Kelly 
found himself thrown on the mercies o' the 
world. Tis no wonder we have a land ques- 
tion to settle in Ireland. 

Many wor blamin' the children for not 
comin' home before the last blow fell but 
John himself often told me that he never 
let on to thim how poorly he was for, says he, 
"they're all married an' maybe have enough o' 
care o' their own. 'Tisn't right to ax any 
o' thim to break up their own home for unless 
they have a bit o' money saved they have 
nothing to start on here but the bare land 
an' the house; an' money can't be picked up 
on the streets in America no more than in 
Ireland." 

It often occured to myse)f to write to the 
the eldest boy, an' tell him the whole story, 
but I didn't like somehow to be considered 
meddlesome — though many's the time since 
I regretted not doin' so. 

But at last when he was homeless an' 
depindin on the neighbours an' frinds for the 
bite he ate, he up an' told the children him- 



ITS SUNSHINE AND SHADOWS. 157 



self, an' sure by return post he got his pass- 
age an' a tidy sum from thim, an' the offer o' 
six homes as long as he lived. You see there 
was no use in any o' thim comin' home now 
as there was a stranger in their place. Poor 
O'Kelly was almost heartbroken. It was his 
greatest wish to die where the O'Kellys for 
ginerations had died, an' mingle his clay with 
theirs in Killeira. 

I can scarcely get myself to talk o' the 
last Sunday he wint to Mass here before he 
sailed. He stood for a whileen lookin' at 
the ould pew, polished with age an' battered 
an' notched, an' all over it the names of 
O'Kellys, scraped with horsenails, or pin- 
knives when they wor too young to think o' 
where they wor. He stood there a full mi- 
nute thinkin' o' happy days gone by, thin- 
kin', o' the good wife that sat there beside 
him an' o' the children an' his own father an' 
mother an' brothers an' sisters. It recalled 
thim all to his mind an' the big tears blind- 
ed him. He rubbed his hand gintly on 
the back of the seat an' was turnin' away when 
a second thought struck him, an' he stooped 
and kissed the , support in front where his 
poor wife, God rest her! use to lean her hands 
whin she'd be sayin' the Rosary. Thin 
with his head bowed down he wint out, an' 
though almost every man woman an' child 
shook his hand an' said 'God speed', I don't 
believe he heard or saw one o' thim. He 
wint back the road with the frinds that had 



158 



AN IRISH PARISH, 



taken him in, an' next day started for the 
Cover 

"What about the grabber that took his 
farm?" I asked. 

"He didn't thrive an' he didn't deserve to." 
said Murty. "He came a stranger an' re- 
mained a stranger, for not one frind did he 
make till he gave it up five years later. 
He left an' then the green fields o' the O'Kel- 
lys became a grazin' farm an' their home a 
herd's house till the commissioners purchased 
the property." 

aj» Sj. «{» «$• !§» «$S 

The late Very Reverend Parish Priest by 
his will left all he died possessed of — 
except some legacies for masses, — for 
the improvement and repair of the Church of 
Clochfada, in which he had served God for 
so many years. One of the improvements 
that almost immediately took place was the 
removal of all the old private pews — there 
were only a few of them indeed, — and putting 
rather handsome seats over the whole floor 
space. As now there was accomodation for 
everybody the private ownership of pews 
gradually disappeared until in less than a 
year it was almost forgotten. Of the cum- 
brous old things that had served before some 
were sold, some burned, ard a few stored in 
the parochial barn. 

Imagine my surprise when a few Sun- 
days ago happening to look down while 



ITS SUNSHINE AND SHADOWS. 159 



arranging the chalice on the altar before Mass, 
I saw that one of the new, good-looking seats 
was removed, and one of the old unsightly 
benches, notched and scraped and covered 
with initials, in its place. I said nothing 
at the time, but I made up my mind to look 
into the matter later on. As I was about to 
Vest' I heard some little commotion in the 
church. The sacristy door was open and I 
looked out. The people who were in the 
passage-way seeking vacant seats were has- 
tily crushing aside to make way for a fine, 
stately, white haired, old gentleman who was 
coming up the aisle. He advanced almost to 
the altar rails and without lifting his eyes off 
the ground genuflected, then for the first 
time he noticed that he was at the old pew, 
— the only old one in the church. He gazed 
steadily at it for a moment then threw him- 
self upon it and sobbed as if his heart would 
break. It was John O' Kelly back to his own 
again, 

I in my reservedness did not know the ex- 
planation of what bad occurred until Murty 
Glynn told me later. Mr. O'Kelly was being 
restored as an evicted tenant and when 
some of the men, his old companions, heard 
it, they got a few young fellows to put back 
his own old pew, which happened to be one 
of those in the priest's barn. This the 
young fellows did and for fear there should be 
any objection on the part of the clergy they 
acted with the greatest secrecy. 



160 



AN IRISH PARISH, 



They regretted their action however when 
they saw O'Kelly's sorrow renewed, but he 
was glad and thankful that they did it; so 
much so that he begged it to be left there in 
its old place as long as he lived; and there it 
is yet, and every Sunday John O' Kelly oc- 
cupies it with his second son, his wife and 
their children who as soon as their own affairs 
were fixed up beyond the water had come 
home to the old man. 



'WHAT RUNS IN THE BLOOD."* 



SEUMAS O'DALY was "well-off" 
He possessed a nice piece of land 
besides a good fishing boat, and then, he was 
"half-shares" in a second boat with Michael 
Mor Mac a Bhaird. That was an arrange- 
ment that suited him well, for Seumas had 
no help. Poor Eibhlin was dead, and left 
him their little son Cronan to love and work 
for, and, if God willed it so, to be his helper 
in a few years. He was "well-off"; and, 
though he felt keenly Eibhlin's loss, he was 
was happy in his child. His widowed sister 
kept house for him and looked after his 
little son, and he worked and saved that he 
might have something to leave when God 
called him to Himself. 

Micheal Mor was poor. He had a large 
family too, but they were able and willing 
to work. The sons manned the two boats 
for the half -share in one and they earned 
from Seumas as well by labouring on his 
farm. So the arrangement suited them al- 
so; they were all satisfied, and lived side by 
side in such mutual friendship that one family 
paid as much attention to the interests of 
the other as though they were of one house- 
hold. 

Four years passed by. Little Cronan was 
growing quickly and could soon go to school, 
He was a good sort, full of life and spirit, 

•B* kind permission of Ed. *C. 7. M: 



162 



AN IRISH PARISH, 



and hardy as the son of O'Daly should be. 
He was the idol of his father; everything 
he did was right, according to the latter, and 
Cronan spent a happy childhood free from 
punishment and restraint. When his school- 
days began, his father seemed to be even more 
deeply interested in him. At night he would 
watch him prepare his lessons for the mor- 
row, and as he smoked by the fireside, he would 
rest his chin on his hand and gaze thought- 
fully at his young son spelling out the ''hard 
words' ' or making crooked ungainly letters 
on the slate laid on his little knees. 

Every Sunday, before Mass, Seumas would 
"drop across' ' the Schoolmaster and have a 
little chat, and as surely as he would the con- 
versation, sooner or later turned to "that young 
lad o' mine." (Seumas always spoke Eng- 
lish in conversing with "the Masther"). 

They lived a simple sort of life in Cuan-na- 
Sgiath. There wasn't much variety in it for 
anyone, but for poor lonely Seumas there 
would be none at all were he not blessed with 
"that young lad o' his" who gave him some- 
thing to think of and work for. 

Four more years slipped away. Cronan, 
the Schoolmaster said, was quick, intelli- 
gent, like many of his fellows, and unlike 
them inclined to learn, "but," he added — 
and in this the neighbours agreed with him — 
"he is a little too lively and you ought to 
look after him better." 




LITTLE CRONAN HAS THE IDEA OF HIS FATHER. 



ITS SUNSHINE AND SHADOWS. 163 



"Arrah! sure the boy's young/ ' Seumas 
would reply. "Do you want him to be a roll 
o' butter without a hum or a horn out o' him. 
If you were buyin' a horse at a fair, you'd get 
one with a bit o' spirit in him that ud be 
value for your money and ud turn out all 
right. Cronan will turn out all right yet, 
please God, so he will — when he gets 
sinse." So Cronan grew up, a frolicsome 
boy, having a lot of his own way, yet withal 
possessed of a certain ambition to learn what 
he could; and fun or mischief never made 
him any the less attentive to his school les- 
sons. Before he was yet nine years old, his 
father, in too great aflection, was already 
wondering would himself be able to do 1 'some- 
thing better" for the boy than merely leaving 
him the "bit of land and a boat and a half." 

"If I had another son to leave them to," 

he would say, "'twould be very well; but sure 

I'd be lonesome now if I had no little boy 

running about the house." And then he 

would recollect himself. "Well amn't I the 

foolish man to be thinking o' such things. 

Cronan is but a weeny child yet." And 

though he thus dismissed the idea it would 

recur again and again till at last the thought 

of his son's advancement seemed to have 

taken possession of his whole mind. 

* * * * * 

Great black clouds had been gathering in 
the evening, and hid the sun and darkened the 
waters of Galway Bay. The waves topped 



164 



AN IRISH PARISH, 



with foam followed one another up the shin- 
gle and ran back with a rattle and a roar only 
to come on again with increasing violence 
that foretold the coming storm. The gentle 
breeze that a while ago played with the ri- 
pening corn and the green-leaved branches, 
now whistled and moaned through the tree- 
tops, and fiercely lashed the waves against 
the rocks below and shook the boats drawn 
up on the sand, and set the clouds racing 
across the sky . There was only one boat 
that had not returned in the early evening. 
Micheal Mor had been at the market in 
Galway and had brought little Cronan with 
him to show him the Citie. He had not yet 
entered the inlet, but many had hoped he 
would be safe at home before the storm came 
on in all its fury. O'Daly was anxious for 
his son. "Out on such a sea as this!" he 
would say, -Til lose my only boy. My God, 
bring him safe to me!" And he passed near 
the little pier, looking out to sea and unheed- 
ing the cold spray that continually dashed 
over him. He was looking towards Ceann- 
garbh, and while he looked, the strength 
came into the winds, and he saw the boat 
rounding the headland tossed about on the 
merciless sea. But Micheal was a brave 
steersman, and the villagers that stood 
with O'Daly seemed to grow confident as 
they watched the old veteran himself at the 
tiller. She raced before the gale; the foam 
dashed over her, and, as the storm increased 



ITS SUNSHINE AND SHADOWS. 165 



she was many time lost sight of as she slipped 
into a mighty trough of the sea. 

"Have a care of the Rocks, Micheal! The 
Rocks, man! the Rocks !" roared O'Daly. 
He trembled for his son's safety, and called 
out as though Micheal Mor could hear him. 
Micheal only heard the roar of the wind and 
the sea, but he saw the Rocks look black 
and threatening in the growing darkness, and 
recalled that many a boatman, unknowing 
their surroundings had smashed on their 
rough jagged edges. Bravely did his sons 
do their parts; three of them were with him; 
nor did the child of O'Daly show himself a 
coward. He tried to give a helping hand and 
had to be restrained lest he should venture 
too much and topple overboard. He did 
not realize how serious their position was, but 
he knew there was some danger, yet was not 
afraid. 

More and more the storm increased, and 
all hope died in the hearts of those that 
watched from the shore. They wondered what 
Micheal intended to do. He dared not come 
straight to the pier as the present direction 
of the boat seemed to indicate. That would 
mean being dashed to pieces at their very 
feet. They all had often seen such storms, 
but never had any of them seen one of their 
number making port in such a heavy sea. 
They had always somehow, managed to 
provide for bad weather by a timely home- 
coming, or putting into one of the sheltery 



166 



AN IRISH PARISH, 



inlets that ran in to the land here and there 
along the coast. "Poor Micheal," they 
thought, "has been badly caught. He can't 
land, though he do his best." Still the boat 
came on. "What is he going to do?" they 
asked one another. "He'll come in safe, 
take my word for it," said one, more to give 
courage to O'Daly and Mcheal's wife and 
children than anything else. The boat 
neared the end of the long line of rocks, and 
while yet three boats length from it, Tomas, 
son of Micheal, stood at the boat's side, a 
rope coiled in his hands. Another few yards 
and they were almost passing the outer rock. 

"Now Tomas," shouted Micheal. And 
Tomas cast the rope against the wind, and 
it was carried and the anchor fell among the 
rocks; a turn of the rudder, and the strain 
on the rope was greatly lessened, and when 
it became taut, it caused the boat, to swing 
round — at great risk of being swamped it 
is true — and shoot in between the Black 
Rock and the outer line; and those 
dangerous sentinels of Cuan-na-Sgiath that 
had wrecked many a hardy fisher, now 
sheltered Michel's boat from the raging sea 
outside. How he steered safely through the 
treacherous hidden rocks, nobody could tell. 
Micheal himself could only say "he knew the 
lie of every one of them, and the sons made 
good use of the oars" but not even himself 
could tell how he steered through the shal- 
lows near Croc-na-Cille, but he did it, and 



ITS SHADOWS AND SUNSHINE. 



167 



with a will the men rushed into the shallower 
waters to haul them up, and O'Daly was a- 
mong the first; and when they were on the 
land he clasped his son in his arms, and 
thanked God for giving himback to him. Many 
were the handshakes poor Micheal and his 
sons got as the villagers gathered around to 
congratulate them on their skilful seaman- 
ship and happy escape. Little Cronan was 
carried home by his father, who could not 
suffer his son again to leave his sight for that 
night at least. 

All night the storm raged. The roofs of 
the little cottages threatened to collapse 
every moment, so great was the force of the 
wind. The rain fell in torrents and ran in 
streamlets everywhere. Fearful gusts swept 
down the chimneys and whistled in every 
crevice of door and window; and all the time 
the sea's rumble could be heard from below 
as it heaved and rolled at war, as it were, 
with the rocks, and endeavouring to sweep 
them away with its terrible strength. The 
men gathered by the firesides talked of ships 
that would never put to sea again after that 
night. The woman prayed for the poor 
wanderers that would never reach the shore; 
and the children were frightened and felt 
sad, in sympathy, it seemed, with the fear 
and sorrow they read in the faces of their 
elders. Towards dawn it became less violent 
yet no light craft could live in such a sea. 
It still rolled with almost all the force of the 
previous night. 



168 



AN IRISH PARISH, 



All along the coast line, was strewn the 
wreckage that told a dismal tale of death and 
sorrow. Beyond near Ceanngarbh a bar- 
que was ashore; her stern was sunk in the 
sea, her bow elevated. A grating noise 
could be heard as, heaving with the undula- 
tion of the water, her keel scraped on the 
rocks. Her masts and rigging were torn 
away, and it was plain she could not last 
much longer in her present position. As 
soon as the tide should recede a little more, 
she would split, or topple over into the sea 
again, to be tossed about at the mercy of the 
waves and gradually torn asunder. It did 
not take long for the news of the wreck to 
spread through the village, and in a short 
time many were hastening to the stranded 
vessel lest there should be any aboard in 
need of assistance. 

When they arrived, a few of the 
more active young men crawled out over 
the rocks, and by a rope that dangled 
over the side, succeeded in climbing a- 
board the perilously situated barque. A 
scene of the wildest disorder met their gaze. 
Broken timber and tangled ropes were thrown 
about everywhere. They saw, too, that the 
boats were gone. 4 'Washed away in the 
storm," they supposed, "or maybe, taken by 
the crew as their only chance of escape." 

"Arrah! there's not a sinner's soul alive 
in this place," said Tomas Mac a Bhaird. 



BEYOND NEAR CEANNGARBH A BARQUE WAS ASHORE. 



ITS SUNSHINE AND SHADOWS. 



169 



'Take a run over her, boys, and we'll be off. 
She isn't safe." 

As they approached the master's cabin, 
they heard a child crying and calling mourn- 
fully, "Father, speak to me." They hastened 
forward and found a man stretched on the 
floor unconscious, and a boy, apparently 
about five years of age, kneeling by his side 
and trying to awaken him. 

They gently took the poor boy away, and 
still more gently lifted the unconscious form 
of the father, and after great difficulty man- 
aged to get both safely ashore. They car- 
ried the injured man quickly along the rough 
pathway to the nearest house, and while 
every means known to the poor fisherfolk 
were being used to restore the suffering 
stranger, they had already sent for the priest 
and doctor. The boy, too, was being looked 
after. It was not hard to console him. His 
years saved him from sorrow. He did not 
know how seriously his father had been in- 
jured; nor did he understand why Seumas 
O'Daly soon came to him and patting him 
on the head said: "Poor child! you will 
soon belong to me." He little thought, poor 
child! that Seumas had come straight from 
the father's bedside, where he, on hearing 
the stranger ask for someone to guard his 
child, had in his good nature consented to do 
so. 

"My life has not been such a one as would 
endear me to my own," the dying man had 



170 



AN IRISH PARISH, 



said, "and I would rather entrust my boy 
even to someone unknown to me, than, that 
he should be brought up to hate his father's 
memory." 

Whether he had previously been a Catholic 
is know r n only to Father Carey. However, 
he freely received the last rites of the Church 
and calmly passed away as the priest recited 
the prayers for the dying. 

The few things he desired Father Carey 
to make known were of little consequence. 
He again gave his heartfelt thanks to O'Daly 
for taking charge of his child. He was sorry 
his thanks were all he could leave him, for 
he was never provident, and had at most the 
couple of pounds that would pay the expenses 
of his burial. The barque he was master of 
had had no cargo. They were sailing from 
Galway with ballast. And when the storm 
came on them suddenly, they were too close 
to the rocks to make any great effort to save 
her. His crew had refused to obey him, and 
finally had taken the boats as their only hope 
of safety. He took his chance with the ship 
and kept his boy within his cabin. As he 
was scrambling down the hatchway a piece 
of wreckage struck him, and how he reached 
his cabin he did not know, nor did he remem- 
ber anything further till he found himself 
among them on shore. 

"I leave the boy to a stranger's charity/ ' 
he concluded. "He will be better cared for 
by him than he would be by me. Let him 



ITS SUNSHINE AND SHADOWS. 171 



bear his adopter's name, and let mine be 
forgotten — or rather unknown. 

The doctor came too late. Life's battle 
had ended for the poor seaman: — "a life 
that seemed to have been more or less a 
failure;" so thought the villagers, but they 
left their thoughts unspoken. They buried 
them in the grave they gave him an Ard- 
nanaomh. 

Seumas O'Daly felt it was God that gave 
him this second child. He would look on 
Jack — so the boy was named, — as his own 
son, and would treat him as such, and Cro- 
nan's ambition should now have free scope as 
far as his means would allow. 

Soon the stir caused by the wreck calmed 
down and things went on in their accustom- 
ed groove in Cuan na Sgiath. Seumas, true 
to his word, gave every opportunity to Cro- 
nan to learn, encouraged him to read, and 
bought him any books he needed. Cronan 
too treated Jack as a brother; and the latter 
becoming adapted to his surroundings, was 
soon like any of the village boys in habit and 
language. He was fond of the sea, and, 
when out in O' Daly's boats, was more care- 
less and daring than even his wildest play- 
mate would dream of being; yet in the pre- 
sence of his elders he was silent and reserved, 
nay even "sheepish." As time advanced he 
observed that O' Daly's life seemed to be 
centred entirely in Cronan. 

He failed to grasp how very natural 



172 



AN IRISH PARISH, 



it was that it should be so, and an awful 
jealously of his companion even now seized 
his childish mind. Outwardly he was affec- 
tionate as before, yet inwardly he was be- 
ginning to hate O' Daly's son. It seemed part 
of the child's nature to hate and act a double 
part. Sometimes, indeed, he was at no pains 
to conceal his real feelings from Cronan him- 
self, but, immediately afterwards, he would 
be smiling and friendly as before, and Cronan 
would wonder how he had thought the other 
wished him ill. As time passed Jack's out- 
bursts of passion became more frequent, yet 
Cronan still hoped that in time the other 
would be able to overcome his feelings, and 
that better relations would exist between 
them. There were no signs, however, of 
those hopes being realized. Jack hated him. 
O'Daly never for a moment suspected that 
any evil thoughts were entertained by his 
adopted son. He scarcely ever interfered 
in Cronan's amusements before, so now he 
let the two boys have most things their own 
way. If he ever did happen to notice any- 
thing "out of the way," he paid no attention 
in accordance with an old principle of his: 
"Boys will be boys till they grow and get 
sense. Sure, you might as well be whistling 
a horn pipe for Paidin Ban's ould mare as to 
be tryin' to talk sense to a boy." That was 
Seumas' notion. 

It was the beginning of the New Year, and 
Cronan had at last bid "good-bye" to the 



ITS SUNSHINE AND SHADOWS. 173 



National School and gone to the Diocesan 
Seminary. That was a great event in the 
poor boy's life, and for days before he left, 
he was continually talking of it. 

"Isn't it grand, Jack," he once said, "to 
be going off to College. You wouldn't 
know what I'd turn out to be!" 

"You wouldn't know," answered Jack sul- 
lenly, and he walked off towards the pier. 
Cronan could only wonder what had made his 
companion angry now; and Jack was silent 
and moody all that evening; indeed he did 
not speak much till the other had gone away. 
All the time he imagined it a great slight, 
that Cronan should get opportunities that 
were denied to himself. He could only look 
at the matter from his own view-point; and 
even after Cronan's departure, when he had 
somewhat regained his usual light-hearted- 
ness — outwardly at least — he still consider- 
ed himself aggrieved and resolved to have 
satisfaction in some way. He often meditated 
how he too might induce O'Daly to give him 
a chance. He believed he was as clever as 
Cronan, "but then," he reflected, "Seumas is 
not able to pay for two of us," and immediate- 
ly the wild idea seized him, even though he 
was yet scarcely twelve years of age, that 
there should be only one of them, and that 
should be himself. 

Oftentimes he would row out on the Bay 
in O' Daly's "curach," and remain abroad by 
himself till dark, and then he would go home 



174 



AN IRISH PARISH, 



and sit in silence while a few neighbours 
smoked and talked by the fireside. At other 
times he brought boys from the village with 
him and took a keen delight in the terror his 
wild pranks would cause them; now, he al- 
almost overturned the boat by his clever 
handling of the oars ; now he almost threw them 
into the sea by a slight trip with his foot and 
a lurch of the light "curach", and he roared 
with laughter while they screamed with fear. 
Yet he could induce the very same victims 
to go with him time after time. All this 
was the working out of his designs against 
O'Daly's son. He wanted to be an adept in 
those dangerous tricks, that he might use 
them for his own purpose when Cronan came 
home on a vacation. 

Summer-time came and Seumas was de- 
lighted when he saw the boat that brought 
home his son touching the little pier. He 
was proud of the boy, and well he might, for 
Cronan although a short time in the seminary 
had already won golden opinions from his 
teachers. And poor Seumas showed him in 
a hundred ways how much he thought of 
him; but every token of the father's love 
added fuel to the fire of jealuosy that burned 
in Jack's breast. He however, kept a fair 
face, nor, in fact, did he seem less pleased 
than O'Daly of Cronan's success. Cronan 
and Jack went out on the Bay as of old, and 
Jack pulled away with bared arms while 
Cronan steered, and they sang, and fished, 



ITS SUNSHINE AND SHADOWS. 175 



and^talked, nor did the least sign of ill-feeling 
cast a shadow over their pleasure. 

It was a glorious evening in July. The 
sun seemed straight over Aran, and shed the 
brightness of his splendour over everything, 
the Bay, and the islands, and the little 
white-washed cottages along the Conne- 
mara coast. Out on the horizon a turf-boat 
flashed for a little while and then disappeared 
around Clochan Head as it made its way to 
Belharbour or Kinvarra. It was a glorious 
evening, and the two boys were out and en- 
joyed it immensely — even more than usual. 
Jack was in his gayest mood, and it seemed to 
Cronan that the bad temper that had long 
ago made his companion a slave was at last 
entirely conquered. They were far out from 
the pier heading towards Ceanngarbh. The 
shore along that side was bare and lonely; no 
neat white-washed cottages were dotted here 
and there to relieve the brown monotony of 
rock and heath. 

"We are just over the sunken wreck of my 
father's ship now, Cronan/ ' said Jack, as they 
neared Ceanngarbh, and he glanced over the 
side and lifted the oars out of the water, "You 
can still see the broken mast-stumps, if you 
lean well over the side and look close to the 
water.' ' 

The "curach" drifted smoothly. 

"Lean to the other side for a moment, 
Jack," said Cronan, "and balance the "cu- 
rach" while I look." 



176 



AN IRISH PARISH, 



Jack did so, and Cronan peered into the 
sea, He was wondering what the ship would 
be like after so many years. 

Suddenly there was a lurch. 

"Hold hard, Cronan !" called Jack. But 
Cronan was in the water and the other was 
pulling away with all his strength. 

"He will never be able to swim ashore.' 9 
he meditated. "When I get under Ceann- 
grabh the 'curach' will go too!" 

"What's wrong with ye there?" called a 
voice behind him. 

Jack was startled. Looking over his 
shoulder, he saw Micheal Mor sailing to- 
wards him in one of the large trawlers. He 
had come round the headland while Cronan 
had been looking into the sea, and Jack in 
the excitement of the moment had not no- 
ticed him in the glare of the western sunlight. 

"Cronan has fallen into the sea," shouted 
Jack; and he hid as well as he could his con- 
fusion and anxiety. 

"And you were pulling away from him, you 
young thief!" roared Micheal. 

I pulled a bit out of the way, that he might 
not strike against the boat," answered Jack 
stiffly, as he began to pull back to where 
Cronan had risen. 

"Come in here with me, Cronan," said 
Micheal as he brought the trawler around. 

"Thank you, Micheal!" panted Cronan, 
"but I will go back as I came out — with 
Jack." 



ITS SUNSHINE AND SHADOWS. 



177 



"Have your own way. Have your own 
way, my boy," said Micheal, "but Til keep 
ye in sight. The likes of ye shouldn't be 
trusted with a boat at all!" 

Jack assisted Cronan into the boat, and to 
his inquiry as to whether he were hurt Cro- 
nan said: 

"Oh! not at all. I'm wet though, and would 
like to get home quickly/ ' 

If he suspected anything he kept his thought 
to himself. 

"Micheal and Tomas!" he called to the 
others, "don't tell father or he'll never let 
me out of his sight again, and I'll not have a 
bit of pleasure or fun out of the vacation. " 

"All right boy, all right," they shouted 
back; and Micheal added, "But do ye hurry 
up, as I'm going to see ye in safe any- 
way." 

And he did; for he shortened sail and was 
never more than a few boats' length from 
them till they were safe ashore in Cuan na 
Sgiath. 

Later many little incidents occured to 
again arouse the suspicious of Cronan, but 
he kept his own counsel; he did not even re- 
monstrate with Jack. He thought it scarce- 
ly worth his while as he would be soon re- 
turning to the seminary. One evening, how- 
ever, brought matters to a crisis, and that too 
in a most unexpected manner. Cronan 
was walking among the rocks on top of Croc 
Eaglais. He read as he walked, and being 



178 



AN IRISH PARISH, 



deeply interested in his book, failed to notice 
that Jack from behind the rocks watched his 
every movement with hateful eyes. Cronan 
at length turned homewards by the well- 
worn pathway down the steep hill side. As 
he walked through the narrow pass under the 
overhanging rocks, he saw some small stones 
topping down a few yards in front of him. 
He looked upwards for the cause, and as he 
did so a huge boulder came rolling down upon 
him. He jumped aside; too late, however, for 
it caught him on the ankle and pinned him 
to the ground, and as he fell some of the fall- 
ing fragments struck his head and he lay 
quiet and still in the soft twilight. 

The neighbours missed him; and it was 
there they found him; and when they carried 
the uncounscios boy home there was sorrow 
in his father's heart. For long O'Daly could 
say nothing but ask God to spare him 
"poor Cronan/ ' 

"You gave him to me, and from the depths 
of the sea You delivered him for me. Spare 
him now, mv God, and do not crush a father's 
heart— !" 

Jack was guarded in his actions. He seemed 
to have no knowledge of Cronan's where- 
abouts all that evening, and appeared grief- 
stricken when he was told what had happened. 
He acted well. Not one breathed the slight- 
est suspicion of his having anything to do 
with the affair, and though he felt a certain 
uneasiness and trouble of mind, he felt no 



ITS SUNSHINE AND SHADOWS. 179 



sorrow, rather he hoped Cronan would die. 
He was bound hand and foot a slave to 
hatred. 

As he lay awake that night he heard the 
footsteps of the watchers as they treaded 
softly to and from the sick room. Later he 
heard a heavy step come to the front door, 
then Micheal Mor's "God save all here," and 
his whispered inquiry for the poor sufferer. 
Micheal had been over in Cillronan all day 
and had only just returned. His presence 
now at once recalled to Jack's mind that the 
old man had been a witness of the incident in 
the bay, and that oftentimes since then he 
showed that he suspected him of evil inten- 
tions towards Cronan. At once he was on 
the alert, and going to the door of his room 
listened anxiously for what Micheal would 
say. Seumas was calmer now, and as Micheal 
sat with him at the fire, he described as well 
as he knew, how his son got hurt, how they 
found him and the rock on his leg, and his 
poor head bruised and cut. 

"And they carried him home to me, Mi- 
cheal,' ' said the poor father. "And there he is, 
the pride and light of my life, with death 
standing outside to take him away from me and 
to crush up my own heart too! O! 'tis hard 
'tis hard! May God help me but 'tis a sore 
trouble!" 

"God's holy Will be done!" said Micheal 
consolingly. "That's not the way to take it, 
Seumas. Death didn't come in the door at 



180 



AN IRISH PARISH, 



all yet, and it won't, please God! But even 
if it does, then welcome be the Will of 
God!" 

There was silence for a while between them. 
The fire burned brightly, and its glow lit up 
the faces of the two men as they gazed into it. 
Micheal looked uneasily at Seumas a few 
times, as if he were afraid of what he was about 
to say. He had been thinking over many 
things, and as himself would say, "putting 
two and two together." Many little incidents 
that he had never given a second thought 
to before now came to his mind, and he fitted 
them together as best he could. He was sa- 
tisfied they formed a chain of evidence, and 
so, drawing a deep breath, he began: — 

"Tell me, Seumas, where was the lad when 
this happened?" 

"What lad?" returned Seumas. 

"Where was Jack at the time?" asked 
Micheal. 

"Maiseadh! how would I know?" replied 
Seumas. "'Twasn't he that was troubling 
me, Micheal. He was sorry enough, at any 
rate, when he saw his poor comrade, God 
help us!" 

"Hah! he was, in troth, I'll go bail," said 
Micheal, sarcastically. "Seumas, I can say 
a thing or two, and maybe I'd open your eyes 
for you. I can say a thing or two!" 

"What do you mean, man?" said O'Daly. 
"I can't understand you. " 

"And never can understand what Til tell 



ITS SUNSHINE AND SHADOWS, 181 



you." said Micheal, "no more can myself! 
Where is Jack now? Where is he?" 

'The boy is in bed," said Seumas, "where 
else would he be?" 

Jack was then at his bedroom door, lis- 
tening attentively. He could hear almost 
every word of the whispered conversation. 

"Very well then," said Micheal, 'Til tell 
you things now, Seumas, that you won't like, 
an' 'tis no pleasure to me to speak. May God 
pardon me if I do wrong to anyone. What I 
do I do with a good intention. All I'm sorry 
for is that I didn't tell you sooner and save 
you, perhaps, a lot of trouble." 

He then proceeded to disclose what he had 
observed in Jack's character, and his doubts 
about the sinceretyof his friendship forjCronan. 
He enumerated the very many incidents that 
led him to distrust the younger boy, and laid 
particular emphasis on the boating affair 

"When," he said, "it was clear Jack meant 
to injure the other. I would have told you 
this long ago, Seumas, but poor Cronan begged 
me not to do so. And," added Micheal, 
"it was not once the likes of these happened 
either, but many times; and I warned Jack, 
but he'd prove on me up to, and against, my 
two eyes, that they were only makin' fun and 
showin' what they could do — and faix it 
was strange fun — and so I held my tongue 
about it all." 

"And I wish you held it now, too," said 
Seumas bitterly, "and not bring wicked 
thoughts into my mind about that child." 



182 



AN IRISH PARISH, 



"And I wish I could/ ' said Micheal, taking 
no notice of the rebuke, "and I wish all I have 
said was a lump of devilish lies. But, Seu- 
mas, that child is a wicked one, and your son 
when God gives him strength again, will tell 
you no lie, but will prove what I say." 

"I'll call Jack before your face this very 
minute, Micheal/ ' said O'Daly, rising. 

"Hold hard, Seumas!" said Micheal, lay- 
ing a hand on him. "You will do a bad act 
if you call him. He may make a noise that 
would injure Cronan, who needs the rest and 
quiet now. Let him be till morning, when 
we can go outside, and Til be there to speak 
before him then, as I do before you now." 

Seumas O'Daly scarcely replied to Micheal's 
Beannacht leat, as the latter went out of the 
door some time afterwards. His head was 
too full of sore thoughts. He had wished for 
a second son, that he might let his own go 
from him to a higher sphere of life, and one 
came to him from the sea and the storm, only 
to be now accused of the basest ingratitude 
and hypocrisy by his truest friend — a friend 
who would have no desire to deceive him. 
Long into the night the whole matter weighed 
heavily on his mind; he turned it over and 
over, seeking in every way to excuse Jack 
from every wicked intention, yet the convic- 
tion with which Micheal spoke recurred 
again and again, and the whole series of 
thought and argument repeated itself. A 
few times he thought of going to the boy him- 



ITS SUNSHfNE AND SHADOWS, 1S3 



self for some explanation, but when he looked 
towards the door of the bedroom he changed 
his mind and said to himself: — 

1 'We'll wait, and see what the morning will 
do." At last he dozed where he sat; his 
dreams were troubled, because of the con- 
versation with Micheal Mor, yet he did not 
aw r aken before the clear light of the dawn 
stole through the chinks in the shuttered 
windows, and brought back his old friend 
to keep his word. MicheM had risen 
early, and had hastened up to O' Daly's. 

"I'm here to stand by what I said, Seumas," 
he said, as he laid his hand on the other's 
shoulders and gave him a gentle tap. 
"Though I couldn't sleep last night with think- 
ing of it, still I'm glad I spoke, and 'tis hard 
on me that it had to be so." 

Seumas was dazed for a moment on a- 
wakening; then he pulled himself together, 
and recalling the conversation of the previous 
night walked without a word straight to 
Jack's room. He found it empty, however, 
for Jack having heard Miche&l accusation, 
decided it would be better to leave in time, 
than wait to make a defence, which at most 
would be considered lame. He would have 
to leave anyway, he reflected, for the neigh- 
bours would cast side-long glances at him, 
and in their love for openness and candour 
would boycott him as a knave and a hypocrite. 
They would always have a suspicion of 
him. 



184 



AN IRISH PARISH, 



He put a few little necessaries together and 
slipped away in the darkness. To prevent 
pursuit he stole over to Micheal Mor's house, 
and tapping gently at the window of Tomas, 
the favourite companion of his sports, told 
him briefly of how he was suspected of in- 
juring Cronan. "'Tis all false, Tomas, " 
he said. "But I'd sooner go away than be 
accused of such a thing. They can prove 
nothing against me, and I want you to tell 
them so, and to ask them not to follow me, 
as even if they brought me back I could not 
stay here any longer, for many would still 
think me guilty.' ' 

He bound the boy to silence till clear day, 
and then bidding him farewell disappeared 
in the night. 

Whither he went no one knew, Some who, 
in the early dawn, were going to Kinvarra 
Fair, had seen him going across the fields 
apparently in the same direction. They 
thought he was only going to tell the doctor 
how Cronan was, and he was too far away to 
call him. Others, later on, saw him making 
towards Galway. So many turns did he 
take that he left no one the wiser as to his 
ultimate destination. No attempt was made 
to get him back; only a few inquiries made 
through natural curiosity, and he was gone 
completely out of their lives, and soon gone 
out of their minds as well; gone as he had 
come — in mystery. 

After a few days, Cronan was happily de- 



ITS SUNSHINE AND SHADOWS. 185 



clared out of danger. He still required greet 
care; but, as Dr. Mackay said, his recovery 
was mostly a matter of time. Slowly, very 
slowly, he regained his strength, but he did 
regain it, and with it his former spirits and 
vivacity. The late summer saw him once 
more out of doors, and shortly he ventured 
out on the sea with Micheal. The colour of 
health came to his cheeks, and the old play- 
ful smile was on his lips, and the light of joy- 
ful youth was in his eyes. Cronan was his old 
self again. His father no longer wished to 
have another son," but now he was resolved 
that Cronan should pursue his studies, and 
he would leave all else in the hands of God. 
He recalled his foolish notions of the previous 
years; how he wanted someone to whom he 
would leave what he had. One came to him 
and what resulted? And then something 
he had often heard flashed through his mind, 
"Man proposes, but God disposes/' He paused. 
That finished the matter for him. He 
would have Cronan go back to his studies, 
and leave all the rest to God. 

******* 

Fifteen years afterwards, in the cool of a 
June evening, a steam collier anchored in the 
1 'roads' ' at the entrance to Galway Harbour 
A boat immediately shoved off, and four oars 
sped her quickly towards the quay. The 
pilot, who had taken the steamer from Arran 
to the "roads," jumped ashore as the boat 
touched the landing steps. 



186 



AN IRISH PARISH, 



4 'Wait here, men," he said to the sailors, 
'Til be back in a jiffey, for 'tisn't far up to 
the house.' 9 

He ran up the steps, and hastened across 
the quays, and was lost to sight as he dodged 
through the foreign timber, manure, and corn, 
piled up in all sorts of conceivable and in- 
conceivable places. Up the crooked narrow 
streets he went and was saved a great part 
of the journey by meeting one of the curates 
on the footway. He stopped: "I beg your 
pardon, Fr, but I want to talk to you a minute 
he said. 

"Why, what's the matter with you, Sea- 
ghan?" asked the priest. 

"Twill be the blessin' o' God, sir, if you 
hurry out to the vessel in the "roads". The 
second mate is at the point o' death, an' by 
the way he's callin' he wants a priest badly. 
I left the boat here below at the dock, an' 
she'll take you out an' back in no time, 
Father." 

"Let us hurry so, Seaghan. Bring me to 
the boat at once. 'Twill waste time if I have 
to look out for her myself." 

And back they went the way the pilot had 
come. The priest entered the boat, and they 
pushed off, and the boat's prow sent wave- 
lets circling away from it and disturbed the 
glass-like surface of the bay. The priest 
wondered whence the poor wanderer was. 
During his life he, doubltess, had seen many 
lands, had been in many climes, yet now he 



ITS SUNSHINE AND SHADOWS. 



187 



had come to the end of his course; he was 
going home now, and he would never wander 
more. The priest prayed silently for him 
he was about to visit, and asked God's bles- 
sing on the poor sailor's death-bed. At last 
they reached the side of the vessel. The 
captain received and welcomed the priest on 
board the ship, and then conducted him at 
once to the mate's cabin. 

"Remain here a moment, Father," he 
said, "I will tell him you have come." 

A gentle knock and the captain entered: — 

"The priest is here now mate," he said. 
"May he come in?" 

"Oh, yes, yes!" was the weak response. 
Then there was a groan as of pain. The 
captain came out. 

"Go in Father/' he said, "I don't think 
you have much time to spare. You should 
make haste." 

The Priest entered, and stooping over the 
dying man, whispered kindly: — 

"Poor fellow! Let me help you to be happy. 
God is very good, my child, and you need not 
fear Him. Let me help you to give all your 
love to God." He continued with words of 
consolation and hope, and all the time he 
could not fail to notice that the sick man was 
gazing intently into his face. The priest was 
about to take the man's hand in his, when 
suddenly it was drawn away, and the sufferer 
turning full towards him, asked: 

"Are you Cronan O'Daly?" 



188 



AN IRISH PARISH, 



"Yes, my son," answered Cronan, and he 
wondered how the stranger could know him. 

A cloud seemed to darken the face of the 
sick man. Then, with all the anger his weak- 
ened condition admitted, he said.: 

"Then you shall not help me. I hate you 
now as I have hated you all my life!" And he 
turned away his face. 

The priest was completely taken by sur- 
prise. He at last recognised Jack — poor 
wayward Jack; and after all those years it 
was thus they met. Gently he took the white 
hand in his, and overcoming the feeble re- 
sistance of the other, pressed it to his lips. 
He spoke kindly of the happier days before 
Jack began to hate him, and he took care to 
not as much as hint at the sad incident that 
caused their long separation. He showed he 
had no enmity, but would do every kindness 
to his one-time companion. He waited a 
while. Time was passing, time that would 
decide the fate of one of them for all eternity. 
Now and again the priest spoke gently, and 
gradually led up to the great grace of a happy 
death. "There is no time now to get another 
priest, who might be able to change his 
heart," he thought. "I must only do my 
best for him." 

Poor Jack," said he aloud, "we first knew 
each other as friends, let us be so again be- 
fore we part. Put the folly of youth out of 
your mind; let it not stand between us two 
now, and between you and God. Come, 



ITS SUNSHINE AND SHADOWS. 189 



my old companion, put on your soul the white 
robe of innocence before you go to meet our 
Saviour, Who is waiting for you.?" He 
paused again. He listened to the breath 
drawn irregularly and with difficulty and 
lifted up his heart to God in prayer. There 
was a movement of the head on the pillows 
and with great trouble and pain, the dying 
man turned towards him, his face streaming 
with tears. 

"Cronan," he gasped, as he attempted to 
stretch out his hands, 1 'since you so freely 
forgive, God surely will not be hard with me. 
Sit beside me and take the load of my sins 
and my sorrow from me." 

The priest entered the boat, and they 
pushed off. As they sped over the water, 
the prow sent wavelets circling away and 
disturbed the glasslike surface of the bay. 
The scene was expressive of peace. All in 
the boat were sibnt, but the priest was call- 
ing to mind how Jack had come to his father's 
house from the sea and storm, and now he 
had gone to his Father's house in a great 
calm. The collier stood boldly out against 
the Western sky; not a ripple licked its dark 
side; a great stillness reigned over everything. 
It was only a picture of that peace which 
reigns where Jack's soul had gone. 



END. 




DOES NOT CIRCULATE 



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